This has to be one of my favourites – possibly a signature dish, and hopefully a classic (see overleaf). It’s lovely as a starter or main course. Cheese and tomato are a great combination, so placing the haddock on to a tomato salad works really well and, of course, gives us those hot and cold tastes. Choose really good tomatoes – plum are much the best.

I have chosen natural smoked haddock which is quite white in colour. The yellow-dyed haddock is not really needed as the cheese is, of course, already that colour – and you know that I like natural tastes, textures and colours!

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Ingredients

  • 6 ripe plum or salad tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 4 × 100 g (4 oz) slices natural smoked haddock
  • 175 g (6 oz) Welsh Rarebit mix (see left)
  • 1 tablespoon finely snipped fresh chives
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) Basic Vinaigrette

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and pre-heat the grill to medium.

Firstly remove and discard the eyes from the tomatoes. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 5–6 seconds. Cool them quickly in iced water and the skins should peel off easily. Slice the tomatoes and arrange overlapping on to the centre of individual plates. You’ll need about tomatoes per portion, and this should make a nice circle. Sprinkle with a little salt and a twist of pepper.

Arrange the haddock portions in a buttered flameproof dish. Split the rarebit into four pieces, pat out on your hands to about 2–3 mm ( in) thick and lay on top of the haddock (the mix should be quite pliable and easy to use). Colour under the grill until golden then finish the haddock in the pre-heated oven for 3–4 minutes.

Add the chives to the vinaigrette and spoon over the tomatoes. When the haddock is cooked, just sit on top of the tomatoes and serve.

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