Tomato tartare with Bloody Mary sorbet

By Nikki & Jordan Shearer

Featured in Capital #58
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Bloody Mary sorbet? Trust us, it’s a winner.

Cool off this summer with this sensational recipe from the Shearers, pairing tomato tartare, a savoury sorbet, basil panna cotta, and a parmesan crisp.

Perfect for a long, sun-soaked alfresco lunch.

With summer in full swing and vegetable gardens flourishing, we are looking for ways to celebrate produce sourced directly from our back yard. There is nothing quite like a sun-ripened tomato and this recipe celebrates this humble fruit perfectly.

While not a tartare by definition, as a tartare is usually raw, the tomato is finely chopped and presented in the style of a tartare on the plate. Don’t be put off by the quantities of tomatoes as they cook down in the oven – you will be left with an incredibly intense tomato flavour. This is not a recipe that you whip up in a second, but we promise you, it will be one of the best things you have ever eaten.

Serves 4–6


Bloody Mary sorbet

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup caster sugar
750ml tomato juice
45ml vodka
15ml lemon juice
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp chiptle sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Pinch salt and pepper

Tomato tartare

25–30 large tomatoes, dunked in boiling water for 1 minute then placed in an ice bath to cool
1–2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme

Basil panna cotta

1 cup cream
3 tbsp creme fraiche
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
2 gold grade gelatine leaves

Pinch salt

Pecorino cream

120g pecorino cheese
4 tbsp white wine
2 tbsp sour cream

To serve

Thyme powder
2 tbsp balsamic crema


Bloody Mary sorbet

  1. In a medium saucepan bring water and sugar to a boil and then simmer until sugar is dissolved and liquid is syrupy. Cool.
  2. Add vodka, lemon juice, worcester sauce, chipotle sauce, paprika, and seasoning. Whisk to combine.
  3. Churn in an ice cream maker for sorbet or simply freeze for a granita. This can be made in advance.

Tomato tartare

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Peel blanched tomatoes. Remove most of the seeds with a sharp knife and lay on a lined baking tray.
  3. Sprinkle with oil, thyme and season.
  4. Bake for one hour, being careful not to blacken. Remove from oven and when cool, chop into small pieces.

Basil panna cotta

  1. Bloom gelatine in cold water. Squeeze out excess liquid.
  2. In a small saucepan add cream and creme fraiche. Heat until warm. Add bloomed gelatine and whisk until dissolved.
  3. Add chopped basil and salt to cream mixture and pour into a 20 x 20 cm dish, to a height of approximately 3cm. Refrigerate until set.

Pecorino cream

  1. In a small saucepan heat wine until reduced by half.
  2. Add cheese and sour cream and mix until cheese has melted. When cool, spoon into a piping bag and set aside.

Parmesan crisp

  1. Heat the oven to 180°C.
  2. On a lined baking tray using a 7cm circular mould, place about 2 tbsp of grated parmesan, repeat until you have 6 evenly sized circles of grated parmesan. If you don’t have the moulds, shaping the cheese into six evenly-spaced 7cm circles works too.
  3. Sprinkle each with a generous amount of pepper then bake until golden.
  4. Shape into cylinders when cool enough to handle.

Basil oil

  1. Place herbs in a bowl and pour over boiling water to wilt, drain immediately and rinse with cold water.
  2. Place blanched herbs, salt, and olive oil in a blender and purée until smooth.

To serve

  1. Remove sorbet from freezer to slightly soften. If making granita, grate with fork and return to the freezer.
  2. Mound the chopped tomato on each plate using a round 7cm mould, piling high.
  3. Loosen the bottom of the panna cotta by dipping the tin in warm water for no more than 30 seconds.
  4. Turn out onto a tray and using a 2.5cm cutter, shape into six rounds. Sprinkle with thyme powder and place on plate.
  5. Pipe a generous dollop of the pecorino cream on each plate.
  6. Place small dots of the basil oil and balsamic crema on the plate.
  7. Quenelle the sorbet and place on plates, or sprinkle with frozen granita if you’ve opted for this. Top with the crisp and serve immediately.


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