Last night we hosted the final dinner of the Kyushu University summer programme. Later today, our Japanese guests will be returning home to Fukuoka City, having spent three weeks at Pembroke College.We began last night's dinner with an heirloom tomato soup garnished with breaded, deep-fried, bocconcino mozzarella. An heirloom tomato (also called heritage tomato in the UK) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato. Heirloom tomatoes have become increasingly popular and more readily available in recent years.
Following the soup, we served dukkah crusted salmon with a pea puree, cumin crushed new potatoes and verbena Hollandaise. Dukkah is an Egyptian side dish consisting of a mixture of herbs, nuts and spices; The word is derived from the Arabic for "to pound" since the mixture of spices and nuts are pounded together after being dry roasted to a texture that is neither powdered nor paste-like.
For dessert, we served sweet garden carrot cake from Under Pressure by Thomas Keller. This very tricky dessert consists of carrot cake, cream cheese icing, cinamon ice cream, sultana coulis, candied carrots, carrot jelly and candied walnuts. The candied carrots are cooked sous vide in orange juice and sugar, with the resulting juice being tranformed into the aforementioned jelly.