Sunday, February 17, 2008

Avocado & Tomato in Verjuice Vercotto Jelly

Sadly I've removed all but two of my tomato plants from the garden today, along with the zucchini's and all but one of the cucumber plants. Autumn is fast approaching, and I'm trying to hold onto the last tastes of summer for as long as possible.

This dish is an adaptation from Maggie Beer's Avocado in Verjuice Jelly. I've altered it only very slightly as I didn't have the full 375 mls of verjuice, which is made from the juice of unripened grapes, and has a tarty sour taste, but without the harshness of vinegar. To make up the full amount required in the recipe, I topped up the verjuice with a product which could be aptly named cousin of verjuice, called vercotto, which is a beautiful deep red colour, and has a stonger sweet and sour flavour. I probably only used about 30 mls of the vercotto. If using verjuice on it's own, the colour of the tomatoes and avocado stand out brilliantly, but I kind of like the deep port wine colour that this dish turned out to be.

Erin, from The Skinny Gourmet is kindly hosting Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging this week


375ml verjuice
1 sprig tarragon
1 large avocado
3 ripe but firm tomatoes – unpeeled.
3 sheets gelatin (6gms) for 1 big mould -if serving in 6 small moulds subtract a half leaf from the original.
Extra Virgin olive Oil
Sea salt flakes
Basil leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
Greens in season (lambs lettuce; rocket)


Bring verjuice to boil and take off immediately, placing tarragon sprig in to infuse.

In a separate bowl, soak gelatine in cold water for approximately 5 minutes and then squeeze moisture out.
Add soft gelatin to warm verjuice and stir (off the heat) for the gelatin to melt.
It is essential that the verjuice be allowed to cool completely at this stage.

Dice tomatoes into cubes approximately 1cm squared and place in a bowl. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and add 2 pinches of salt.
Peel avocado and dice into 2cm squared chunks and place into bowl. Drizzle with verjuice or lemon juice to stop oxidation and add pinch of salt.

If serving as a single dish rather than 6 small ones, choose a glass jelly bowl (approx 600ml) place a few leaves of basil into the base of the glass bowl. Next place avocado chunks spreading evenly around the bowl.

Strain the juices from the tomatoes and add on top of avocado.

Pour cool verjuice mixture into bowl.

Seal the surface with plastic wrap over top and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours (if in large bowl). If using smaller bowl, only 2 hours refrigeration required.

To turn out jelly of this size, stand in a bowl of hot water for 25 seconds. Then turn out onto a serving platter.

1 comment:

Kalyn said...

This sounds so interesting. I've read about verjuice (I think on Morsels and Musings?) but we don't have it here. This type of dish is called "Jello" in the U.S. It's very popular here in Utah, usually made very sweet and with lots of fruit added.