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Summer Sun-Dried Tomato, Fennel and Fresh Goat’s Curd Salad

Craig Gray, head chef at Icebar, London
Serves: 2
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Sun-dried tomatoes are a lovely ingredient to use with a beautifully intense flavour that’s rounded at the same time. A little goes a long way, and works with a variety of ingredients with hardly any preparation work needed. They also keep for a long time, so you can use them throughout the year!



  • 1 head fennel
  • 5 caraway seeds
  • 2g smoked sea salt
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 4 Heritage cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5g caster sugar
  • 5g smoked sea salt
  • 20g wild garlic leaves
  • 20g olive oil
  • 2g sea salt
  • 20g monk’s beard
  • 60g sun dried tomatoes
  • 30g goat’s curd
  • 10g gordal olives
  • Nasturtium leaves
  • Fennel pollen


  1. For the Fennel:
  2. Cut the fennel head into segments, place into a vacuum-seal bag with olive oil, caraway seeds, and smoked salt and sous vide for 40 minutes at 85 degrees. If you don’t have a
    water bath, grind up the caraway and salt and sprinkle over the fennel and gently steam until tender. Don’t overcook, as you want a nice bite to the fennel
  3. Once cooked, chill in an ice bath immediately. Once cool, remove the fennel and reserve the oil
  4. For the Semi-dried tomatoes:
  5. If possible try finding a selection of varieties, which will add colour to the dish. If not red cherry tomatoes are fine
  6. Cut tomatoes in half, sprinkle the sugar, smoked salt and fresh bay leaf onto the tomatoes. Place under heat lamps or in a low oven at 40ºC, until the tomatoes have concentrated and lost roughly 20 per cent of their volume
  7. For the Wild garlic pesto & monk's beard:
  8. Place garlic leaves in a blender with enough oil to combine into a smooth pesto. Be careful not to overheat the garlic as you want to retain the freshness
  9. Once puréed, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. This recipe makes more than you will need. It has a lovely fresh garlic flavour, great for a pasta or other salads
  10. Blanch monk’s beard in unsalted boiling water for 30 seconds. Chill in an ice bath, and reserve until ready
  11. To assemble:
  12. Heat a pan with reserved fennel oil and gently caramelize the fennel segments
  13. Arrange fennel on plate or platter as a base. Place the sun-dried and semi-dried tomatoes around fennel and dress with the goat’s curd, wild garlic pesto and diced gordal olives
  14. Finish with any remaining fennel oil, and fennel pollen
  15. Garnish with monk’s beard and nasturtium leaves
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