Clear tomato jelly with crab

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online


A perfect light, summery starter. When you serve it, everyone will think it's complicated to make, but all it takes is good ingredients. You'll need to start the day before, though.

1.5kg ripe tomatoes, halved
2 large shallots f
2 cloves of garlic, blanched in water for 2 minutes
300ml good quality tomato juice
A few sprigs of basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 leaves of gelatine

to garnish

100g freshly picked white crab meat
Half a small avocado
1 large tomato, skinned, seeded and the flesh cut into 1¿2cm dice
2tsp chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1-2tsp olive oil

Coarsely blend the tomatoes, shallot, garlic and basil in a food processor with some freshly ground black pepper and salt and 250ml of the tomato juice.

Line a colander with double muslin or a clean tea towel and place over a large bowl. Pour the tomato pulp into the colander and leave overnight in the fridge to drain. The next day you should have about 600-700ml of clear juice in the bowl. (See below for a good use for the pulp.)

Soak 3 leaves of gelatine (4 leaves if you have more like a litre of tomato juice) in cold water until soft. Meanwhile remove a small ladleful of the juice and heat it in a pan. Squeeze the water from the gelatine leaves and stir them into the hot tomato juice until dissolved. Don't boil it. Add this to the rest of the juice, add the remaining 50ml of tomato juice, stir well and put into the fridge for 1-2 hours until set.

To serve, peel and stone the avocado and cut into 1¿2-1cm dice. Mix the crab meat with the tomato and avocado, season with a little salt and pepper and stir in the chives and olive oil. Give the now lightly jellied consommé a brief stir and transfer into chilled bowls. Spoon the crab mixture into the centre and serve.

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