Months ago I attended a fantastic multicourse dinner by Decatur Wine and Food Dude, and though all the dishes were impressive, I was blown away by the French Laundry salad of haricots verts, tomato tartare, and chive oil. The concentrated flavor of the tomato is explosive while remaining natural. The cool whipped beans, the glowing chive oil, and the impressive presentation send it over the top. I knew I was going to make this dish someday, and Dude was kind enough to send me the recipe last week.
The tomato confit recipe is readily available online, and you can pretty much follow the complete salad creation process on the French Laundry at Home blog. I didn’t bother with the tomato powder as I didn’t have enough time to experiment with the notoriously finicky process.
This post really only follow the process of creating the tomato confit, which is some incredible stuff that you should try, whether or not you want to make this salad. I used the extra confit as a soup garnish, spread it on toast, and I ate spoonfuls of it by itself. It’s that good. Though tomatoes aren’t in season, the slow roast extracts puckering sweetness from even the blandest of grocery store tomatoes.
Step 1: Beer (name on glass optional)
Step 2: core the stem end, score the opposite end
Step 3: Pour boiling water on the tomatoes
Step 4: Quickly drain and allow them to cool until you can peel them
Step 5: Cut the naked tomatoes into quarters, length wise, and scrape out the seeds and loose flesh
Step 6: Lay tomato “petals” on a line baking sheet, drizzle olive oil, dust with salt and fresh chopped thyme for 2-3 hours at 250 degrees
Step 7: Store the tomatoes in a bowl, pouring the oil from the pan over them – refrigerate for up to 1 week
I used this biscuit cutter to plate the salad, which begins with the chopped tomatoes, shallot, and balsamic vinegar
The beans are blanched and folded into the red wine vinegar laced, lightly whipped cream. The beans are stacked on the tartare, followed by a handful of salad. The plate is finalized with the chive oil, which is simple to make and looks gorgeous.