Farm to Table

Tomatoes for Dessert at Haven

The tomato sundae at Haven is the perfect way to have your cake and eat it, too.

By Katharine Shilcutt June 4, 2013

The tomato sundae at Haven is full of nifty visual tricks that could finally compel that picky diner to eat their vegetables...for dessert.

2502 Algerian Way

True to Haven's farm-to-table philosophy, market-fresh summer tomatoes form the base of the tempting appetizer, with a few bright microgreens peppered in for effect. On top of that mound of tomatoes goes a scoop of crème fraîche that resembles ice cream, with a final dark drizzle of balsamic vinegar on top that mimics chocolate syrup. But the scoop on top of chef/owner Randy Evans's tomato sundae doesn't just look like ice cream.

"It's actually ice cream," laughed Evans when I asked him about the clean, white scoop of frozen crème fraîche. To the cream base, he adds olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and a little sugar before popping it into his deep freeze to solidify. Once it's frozen, says Evans, "it's really frozen, and really tough to scoop out." But because it contains olive oil, the frozen salad dressing with the texture of sorbet doesn't stay frozen for long.

"Because it has olive oil in it," says Evans, "it starts to melt really quickly and coat all of the tomatoes beneath." Evans first developed the recipe for the salad dressing ice cream while at Brennan's, and the recipe now resides in the cookbook Evans wrote while executive chef at the Houston institution: The Kitchen Table.

Evans has tweaked the presentation a little since then, but not the recipe. He's still not finished, however, and wants to really emphasize the dessert-like presentation of his cool, summery sundae.

"We're looking into buying banana split dishes," he laughs. "Maybe soon."

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