Sauce vierge

Sauce vierge

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Makes
750 ml
Photographer
Jason Lowe

This is a classic French tomato vinaigrette, comprising diced ripe tomatoes, good olive oil, tarragon, basil and one of my very favourite herbs – chervil. The beauty of this sauce lies in its fresh clean flavour and it really needs to be put together shortly before serving. It goes beautifully with simply grilled fish of any variety, especially salmon and very fresh, deliciously oily sardines. It is also very good with grilled beef or lamb.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg ripe, firm tomatoes, without bruises or blemishes
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
bunch chervil, leaves only
bunch tarragon, leaves only
small bunch basil, leaves only
1 tablespoon good-quality red wine vinegar
120ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Using a little knife, mark a shallow cross in the tomato skin – don’t cut too deeply, it should really only be a nick. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water and remove them almost immediately (after about 15 seconds), using a slotted spoon. The skin at the cross incision should have curled back. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel off the skin – it should come away very easily. Halve the tomatoes, scoop out and discard the seeds, then cut into small, neat slices.
  2. Put the tomato slices into a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Chop the herbs finely and add them to the tomatoes. Drizzle over the wine vinegar, stir to combine, then pour over the olive oil. Use the sauce within an hour or two.
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