Heritage tomato salad with black garlic and frozen goats cheese

This recipe takes a little effort but is a much more refined version of a tomato salad. The different techniques of drying, pickling and charring add layers of flavour and interest and black garlic adds ‘umami’


  • 1kg heritage tomatoes (including cherry varieties)
  • 100gms Belazu smoked semi dried tomatoes in oil
  • 500gms banana shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 100gms good quality soft goats cheese (e.g. Rosary Ash)
  • 100gms black garlic cloves
  • 3gms micro basil
  • Sea salt flakes and cracked black pepper

For the pickling liquor

  • 100gms caster sugar
  • 100mls dry white wine
  • 100mls white wine vinegar
  • 1tspn salt
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. For the dehydrated tomatoes
    Select the larger tomatoes and slice appx 5mm thick. If you have a dehydrator set at 62oC. If you don’t, preheat oven to 80oC (and if combi set to zero humidity). Lay the tomatoes on lightly oiled silicone paper and sprinkle with a little sea salt and white wine vinegar. Slice the garlic cloves very finely and lay a piece on each tomato slice. Place in the oven and dry for appx 5 hours until crisp (between 6 and 12 hours in dehydrator). Remove from the tray, allow to cool and store in an airtight container. N.B. these can be made in batches and stored for later use
  2. For the pickled tomatoes
    Take some medium sized tomatoes (green ones work well for pickling if you have them) and cut into wedges. Peel and slice the shallots into 5mm rings. Place tomatoes and shallots into a sterilised Kilner jar with the bay leaves and anise. Boil together the pickling liquor ingredients until sugar is dissolved allow to cool slightly and pour over the tomatoes and shallots. Make sure the pickling liquor covers the fruit. N.B. these can be made in batches and stored in the fridge for future use
  3. For the scorched tomatoes
    Select some cherry varieties and place on a metal tray. With a blow torch scorch the tomatoes all over till the skins are blistered and tomatoes are slightly softened. Allow to cool
  4. For the black garlic puree
    Place black garlic, 50mls water, 10g sea salt and 1tspn white wine vinegar into a heavy based saucepan. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and cover with a lid for 20-30 mins to infuse. Blend to a smooth paste in a food processor or with a hand blender and pass through a fine sieve. Put into a squeezy bottle with a fine nozzle or piping bag. As with the pickle this can be made in batches and stored in the fridge for later use
  5. To assemble – Freeze the goats’ cheese
  • Cut the tomatoes which haven’t been pickled or scorched into suitable sized pieces (e.g. diced, sliced, quartered appropriate to your style of presentation)
  • Arrange the fresh, pickled, scorched and smoked tomatoes on suitable plates or bowls. Drizzle a little of the oil from the smoked tomatoes over them and season with sea salt and cracked pepper
  • Pipe small blobs of black garlic puree amongst the tomatoes.
  • Place rings of pickled shallot on top of the tomatoes
  • Using a micro plane grater, immediately prior to service, grate the goats cheese over the salad, finish with micro basil and the tomato crisps