6-8 trussed cherry tomatoes
500 ml Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp of freshly picked thyme
Pinch of sea salt
A generous grind of cracked pepper
1 bunch basil
4 small balls of Bocconcini cheese
Wash and pat dry the basil. I recommend for presentation purposes you gently pick off the small leaves. You will need about 25 leaves. Hint, cut the bottoms of the basil stalks away to infuse the oil. Wash and bruise both the basil stalks and the thyme.
Place 450 ml of the olive oil on low heat, infuse the oil with the thyme and basil stalks, only apply heat to allow the aromatics to infuse into the oil, remove from heat.
Remove the Bocconcini from its preserving liquid and allow to air dry. Once dry cut the balls in half. Add a pinch of salt to each piece. Hint, Bocconcini is quiet bold in flavour so you can choose to cut into smaller pieces.
Once removed from the stove pour warm oil over the trussed tomatoes. Allow the tomatoes to soften slightly. Hint, you can get to this stage the day prior to requiring the salad, it will only intensify the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes have infused for several hours, remove and place on an oven tray. Place the oven tray under a very hot grill. You only want to blister the tomato skin.
You can run your infused oil through a fine mesh sieve and use it as the salad dressing.
Once you have blistered the tomatoes, I recommend serving on the Santo Alessi sushi platter. Position your trussed tomatoes down the center of the platter. Position the Bocconcini ball, then the small basil leaves. Apply some of your infused oil over the top. Give a final pinch of flaked sea salt and cracked pepper.
Hint, try to get a little oil on the Bocconcini balls and the basil, this will assist the salt and pepper to stick.
Credits: Recipe by AGFG Resident Chef Shawn Sheather
Photo Credits: Recipe by AGFG Resident Chef Shawn Sheather