Thomas Keller's Tomato Sorbet, good and bad breaks and a giveaway preview!

Breaks come in several forms. In my case, there are two; a broken wrist and a vacation. What is unfortunate is these two breaks are happening simultaneously. The broken wrist is going to prevent me from doing a lot of commenting for a while...you'll have to hang in there with me. I'm reading you though!

And the other break? We are taking a vacation in August ( I wish I could tell you I will be diving and snorkeling in the beautiful Caribbean but it looks as though I will be watching, not doing). So next week I will be posting a short recipe and a lovely giveaway from American Spoon Foods and then we're off.

Please be patient with me for a month or so...I'll be back the end of August with a giveaway winner, but will still be typing with one hand!

On to a lovely Thomas Keller recipe!


Let's be honest: you're probably not going to make this entire dish. It takes too long. (And even then, I skipped a couple elements.) But if I tell you the tomato sorbet has one of those roll your eyes flavors, will you at least try the sorbet part? It's worth the time.

The composed dishes that comprise most of The French Laundry Cookbook recipes are time consuming to make. I think that's why I like Ad Hoc...geared more for the home cook. But I couldn't resist making the sorbet and when I licked the spoon before I put it in the fridge to chill, I DID roll my eyes and say Mmmmmmm. Will it be as good frozen? Yes, it was! I discovered it's best to use the same day because this sorbet freezes really hard if you keep it overnight. But if you're not able to, just let it soften and all will be well.

And do you have to skin all those little grape tomatoes? No. (Although that was the easy part and aren't those little veins in the tomatoes neat looking?) Just slice some heirloom tomatoes, dress them and top them with a small scoop of this sorbet. It does look nice on the bread, so do what I did. I took a left-over croissant half, cut a circle out of the bottom and toasted it. You could, however, serve it on a lettuce leaf.

That little cracker on top? It's adorable (and delicious), but you don't have to make it. I did omit the basil oil which, when I serve this again, I will definitely make if only for the sake of presentation and I also skipped the tomato tartare. I liked mine just the way it was. I'll give you recipes for the components I used, OK? Up to you which ones you use.

Thomas Keller's Tomato Sorbet on a Tomato Pyramid

Ingredients for sorbet:
6-7 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch pieces (I didn't peel)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
pinch chopped tarragon
pinch cayenne
3/4 cup simple syrup
julienned zest of 1/2 orange (about 1 teaspoon) brought to a boil in cold water, drained and repeated 2 more times
salt and pepper

Method for sorbet:
Bring the tomatoes to a boil in a saucepan, reduce heat and cook, stirring often about 45 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced by half. There will still be some liquid remaining

Heat the oil, add the onions and cook for 7-8 minutes until tender.

I ran the tomatoes through a food mill to remove the skins. Then put both the tomatoes and onion in a blender until smooth.

Press the mixture through a tamis (I don't own one so I used a sieve) and then blend again. There should be about 1 cup. Add the remaining sorbet ingredients and blend again. Refrigerate until cold. Freeze in an ice cream maker. Best to use the same day.

Ingredients for garlic tuilles:
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened but still cool to the touch
1 large egg white
2 teaspoons garlic paste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian parsley, minced

Method for garlic tuilles:
Mix the flour, sugar and salt in one bowl. Beat the butter in another bowl by hand until creamy. With a spatula or spoon, beat the egg white into the dry ingredients until smooth. Add the butter by thirds. Whisk until smooth. Preheat oven to 325°.

On a silpat, spread about 3/4 of a teaspoon of the batter with the back of a spoon. The batter does not have to be even, the silpat can show through; it actually looks more interesting. Make it the size of a small cookie. Sprinkle the tops with the rosemary and parsley. Bake 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Ingredients for cherry tomatoes:
A variety of cherry tomatoes, try to choose the same size
salt and pepper

Method for cherry tomatoes:

Blanch the tomatoes in salted boiling water for a few seconds to loosen the skin. Peel the skin with a paring knife. Toss the tomatoes in olive oil, salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To complete:

Soften the sorbet if needed.
Arrange a layer of the tomatoes on a crouton and top with another layer. You may need to trim the bottoms to get them to sit evenly. Try to make them the same size. Top with sorbet quenelle.
Keller adds basil oil around the base.

Here's a smaller version with just one layer of tomatoes:


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your wrist! But at least the vacation should be fun...although you will have some interesting cast tan lines...

    This tomato sorbet looks absolutely delicious! Oh Thomas Keller, why do you have to make such tasty things so complicated? Or are they tasty BECAUSE they are complicated.

  2. Props on the effort - it looks a million bucks. I always find that restaurant recipes tend to be more time consuming, but they deliver on taste. Having just had a 8 course degustation based solely on tomatoes, I can imagine how yummy that sorbet is.

  3. Dear Barbara,

    So sorry about your wrist. Take time to rest up and do all those things you never seem to find time for... Hope you recover soon and thanks for the culinary work of art, xxx.

  4. OMG, Barbara, this is so COOL! Wonder what's the flavour of the sorbet. So interesting! No harm to give it a try, right! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a great weekend, dear.
    Cheers always,

  5. Oh dear--sorry to hear about the wrist. I guess if you can't be doing then viewing is the next best thing! I'm off to the farmers' market and am always looking for new ways to use all the lovely tomatoes.


  6. Sorry to hear about your injury, I hope you have a great time in the Caribbean.

    This is one of my favorite recipes in The French Laundry cookbook. It's so colorful and delicious. Great job on your sorbet!

  7. What a shame Barbara. A broken wrist, I can't even imagine. I think you may have a tendency to over do it, as per this amazing recipe share. Do take it easy:) I'm sure you will find "inventive" ways to enjoy your vacation albeit, broken...

    I can't believe you typed this entire recipe injured. Stay well, have a blast, we'll "see" you when you return.

    Thank you so much for sharing...

  8. Sorry to hear about your "break" take it easy we will all be here for you! If you consider the vacation more along the lines of "relaxing on the beach" instead of not doing stuff it might be better. The tan lines will be cool after the cast comes off too!

    Tomato Sorbet, Looks wonderful!

  9. Oh Barbara, I'm so sorry to hear about your wrist!!! And at vacation time. I received Ad Hoc cookbook for Christmas and have not made a dog-gone thing. Gotta get it out and take advantage of all that expertise and delicious food. By the way, can't you type with your nose? tee hee

  10. oops, almost forgot. That tomato sorbet thing is absolutely beautiful!! I'm impressed.

  11. Sorry about your wrist and the fact that there will be no underwater fun & games for you. On another note, you'll still enjoy the gorgeous seascapes and scenery and tropical sunshine. Have fun. this tomato sorbet is one on my list - I've see Raymond Blanc rustle up something similar and I can imagine the ming-challenging and exciting flavours. Take care

  12. I am so sorry about your wrist but hope that you can still enjoy a relaxing vacation! What a gorgeous and ambitious dish!

  13. Hey Barbara, this is one of those recipes that looks like a major feat. I can't even imagine photographing it-much less making it. Awesome that you did! Oh, and it sound delicious (smile).

  14. It always fun to make something unusual ordinary ingredients. Tomato sobet will be perfect for all those tomatoes in the garden.
    Sorry about your wrist, is there a good story behind the break? Enjoy your vacation.

  15. Wow. It looks fabulous! I sure hope you had this post typed up before your injury. Look at it this way... more reading and more photos for this vacation?

  16. I do hope your wrist heals... what a drag to have it happen before a vacation. We will all miss you... your comments are a highlight on my blog...they are so much fun to read. The tomato sorbet looks to cool for words... keller is a genius.

  17. Barbara this sorbet look fantastic! huggs gloria, really nice!

  18. This looks and sounds wonderful- how in the world did you accomplish this masterpiece with a broken wrist? I hope you heal quickly and that the wrist doesn't keep you from fully enjoying your wonderful vacation.

  19. So sorry to hear about your wrist--I know too well the feelin of taking that kind of break (or two!). The tomato sorbet looks amazing and perfect for a hot summer day. Hope you enjoy the better kind of break--at least you've got an excuse to do absolutely nothing!

  20. I'm sorry to hear about your wrist.

    That is a fabulous recipe. So unique anf delightful!

    Have a great vacations and till soon again!



  21. I am so sorry to hear about your wrist. I hope it doesn't stop you from having a wonderful vacation.
    Kudos to you on a fabulous execution of what seems to be a pretty complicated recipe. Doing things like this makes me feel really proud of myself (if i can make it come out right).
    *kisses* HH

  22. That's awful about your wrist! Especially bad timing with your vacation coming up, but now you have an excuse to really take it easy.

  23. bad news about your wrist, my friend--i hope it heals as quickly and painlessly as possible!
    on a brighter note, i'm terribly impressed that you made this dish. it's rather incredible (and i also doubt i'll ever make it from start to finish...). :)

  24. Barbara, that stinks about your wrist! And right before vacation, too! We'll miss you and I hope you heal fast!

    I can't believe anyone would make a Thomas Keller recipe from start to finish; talk about work! But the sorbet looks gorgeous!

  25. Your sorbet looks amazing, so impressive and I can just imagine the exquisite taste.
    Poor you to have broken your wrist just before you go on vacation, such bad timing, hope it heals quickly and you're back with us soon.

  26. Oh dear, sorry to hear about the wrist Barbara. Hope it heals soon, and hopefully it won't bother you too much on vacation.

    The tomato pyramid looks stunning :)

    Take care, have fun adn see you soon.

  27. How gorgeous Barbara. What a way to say a bientot for a while. Hope you have a wonderful vacation despite the break and are feeling tip top soon. Let everyone on vacation take care of YOU.

  28. Barbara...what an incredible accomplishment. Very patient you are to follow through most of this masterpiece. I find the ingredients to the sorbet way too intriguing not to try it. Yes, I get the feeling it may be best to serve it on the day of.

    Your wrist...how unfortunate...and what terrible timing. I hope the pain has subsided somewhat.

    Thank you for sharing such an inspiring sorbet ;o)

    Ciao for now,

  29. Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your broken wrist, Barbara! On the other hand, your Caribbean break sounds fabulous! I hope you have an amazing time.

    This tomato sorbet is nothing short of stunning! What a lovely way to use up some of the summer's bounty.

  30. Poor you! Take care of yourself, eh? This is a wonderful recipe for a very special occasion. It would be great for a ladies luncheon.

  31. oh dear. broken wrist. not fun. but i LOVE Keller and his books; have Ad hoc and have made a few recipes which are nothing short of glorious! worth every bit of extra work involved! have a restful vaycay even with the broken wrist ~ hugs!

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  33. I don't think I'd have attempted that sorbet, at least not with success such as yours! It looks absolutely deliciously fantastic!

    Wishing you a speedy recovery! and a great vacation in spite of the broken wrist!

  34. Beautiful sorbet! I love TK recipes.

  35. Oh Barbara, so sorry to hear about your wrist break. Hopefully you can sit on vacation and just relax and read about all kinds of new and wonderful recipes you can share with all of us when you return home.
    As for this recipe it looks and sounds amazing, I adore Thomas Keller but his recipes can intimidate me :) I do have this cookbook and it is probably the only one that I just don't use but instead look at the pictures a lot. He is such a genius, and you are amazing for making this!
    take care

  36. What a beautiful picture, how bold to of you to try this recipe!

  37. Oh no, Barbara, I'm so sorry to read about your wrist, and before your vacation too. That really is bad timing. I don't know if I will ever make this gorgeous dish, but I certainly am admiring it.

    I did make your savory galette twice already and love it! I did a post about it today and hope that everyone who didn't try it last week will try it this week. It is so, so good.

  38. Oh Barbara, sorry about your wrist...and just before vacation...on the other hand the tomato sorbet looks beautiful...it is sure a lot of work...

  39. I'm so sorry about your wrist! Is there no way they can splint it so you're not restricted on vacation?

  40. It must have been hard for you to make this blog with your wrist. I hope it's already well. And this Tomato Sorbet on a Tomato Pyramid is awesome. If you wont mind I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your post. Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post so it will appear in the Foodista pages and it's all set, Thanks!

  41. I'm assuming you made this beautiful creation before breaking your wrist? I can't imagine composing the pyramid with one hand! It absolutely beautiful and sounds wonderfully refreshing.

    I'm so sorry that you had to break your wrist right before such a wonderful-sounding vacation. I hope you have a nice time relaxing and healing and enjoying the views.

  42. Whoa! This looks awesome- so beautiful. And what an amazingly unique idea! Hope your wrist gets better fast!!


  43. The little, peeled tomatoes do look great! Sounds like a really lovely and delicious dish.

    Hope your wrist heals soon, and have a fantastic vacation!

  44. Well it makes for a beautiful picture! And we certainly have a lot of tomatoes right now :) I'm sorry to hear that you have a broken wrist...yikes...that is no fun at all. I broke my wrist as a child right before we went on vacation and had to rig a plastic bag around my cast and then hold my arm up in the air to be able to go into the water. I hope you at least enjoy some relaxation time while you're gone!

    Happy August Barbara ~

    :) T

  45. This looks delicious but you are right I probably won't try this one - hah, I'm a lazy cook.

    I hope your wrist heals nicely and that you are able to enjoy your Caribbean vacation regardless.


  46. sorry to hear about your bad break, i hope it doesn't interfere too much with your good one! this looks so refreshing and fun, i've never had anything like it!

  47. So sorry about your wrist!! Heal quickly. And hope you are able to enjoy your vacation anyway.

    Hungry Dog

  48. I'm so sorry this happened right before vacation. :-( I hope you have a fabulous time despite.

    Now that is some fancy fabulous food.

  49. When I get minions, I'll send them to fix your wrist!

  50. the Keller recipe is fantastic and you have done gorgeous work. this would be especially delicious served at our Tomato Art Fest coming up soon!

    best thoughts for a speedy healing. enjoy your vacation!

  51. Oh Barbara, you poor dear.... so sorry to hear that you have broken your wrist, and especially before you are going away on holiday.
    The sorbet looks so delightful and thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Take care and I hope that your wrist heals soon.

  52. This is absolutely beautiful. I am so impressed Barbara.

  53. Barbara, you poor thing! I hope you are ok!

    As for that tomato sorbet pyramid, I'm bookmarking that for Summer when the tomatoes are at their sweetest and most delicious :)

  54. Wow, superb blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, as well as the content!



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