Tomatoes are at their very best right now. Take advantage with Philippa Davis' starter course of tomato sorbet

Savoury sorbets make a great starter course. And with tomatoes at their very best right now, even served frozen they pack a flavourful punch. Try Philippa Davis’ tomato sorbet for your next supper party.

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Savoury sorbets make a great starter as they are light, refreshing and can be made in advance. I find the tomatoes are at their best at this time of year as they have had the maximum amount of summer sun and so even when served frozen, as in this sorbet, they provide an impressive burst of flavour.

Serves 6 as a starter

  • 800g ripe fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 50ml water
  • 30g ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 15g basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp tarragon
  • 5 fresh sprigs of basil, to serve

Roughly chop the tomatoes and place into a bowl, including any seeds and juice.

In a saucepan on a medium heat, gently sauté the garlic and shallots in the olive oil until softened, about 10 minutes. Add half of the tomatoes with their seeds and juice, the caster sugar and water, season with salt and pepper then, stirring regularly, simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes – or until the mix has thickened slightly.

Take off the heat and add the grated ginger, basil leaves and tarragon.

Blitz in a blender and strain the juice through a fine sieve then check the seasoning and adjust as necessary. Remember, cold or frozen food has a less-pronounced flavour so it is all right if the mixture tastes quite strong.

If you have an ice-cream maker, churn the strained juice then freeze it for at least three hours before serving.

If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, freeze the juice then blitz in a food processor after a couple of hours or once the mix has partially frozen. This will help break up the ice crystals and make it a smoother texture. Then, freeze for at least another three hours.

Serve balls of the sorbet in chilled glasses with a fresh sprig of basil on top.