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With things barely sprouting in the vegetable patch at River Cottage, Paul faces a “hunger gap”. He calls on the kindness of (almost) strangers to bring their garden bounty to him. He rewards them with this dish incorporating all their seasonal veg – fennel, tomatoes, zucchini and onions.
Fill a large bowl with water and ice cubes. Drop tomatoes into a saucepan of boiling water for 10-15 seconds, then transfer to bowl of iced water. Slip tomato skins from tomato and discard. Puree 3 of the tomatoes in a food processor to form a puree, add 1 pinch sea salt, stir in wine and set aside. Thickly slice the remaining 2 tomatoes and discard seeds.
Heat tomato puree in a saucepan over a low heat until very hot but not boiling. In a separate glass jug or bowl, add gelatin to boiling water and whisk with a fork until gelatin dissolves. Stir in tomato puree. Place jug in refrigerator to cool.
Heat two large, heavy-based frypans, add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to each and fry fennel and zucchini until just golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Add more oil as needed. Set aside on separate plates, season with sea salt.
Blanch beans in a small saucepan of simmering salted water until just done, about 3-5 minutes, then shock in a bowl of iced water. Drain and set aside.
Heat a small frypan on a medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions until soft and golden. Add apple cider vinegar and cook onions on low until caramelised, about 5 minutes.
Brush a 19cm x 9 cm loaf tin with olive oil and line with baking paper so the paper overlaps the sides by about 5cm. Whisk tomato puree a little with a fork. Place tomato slices in the bottom of tin and drizzle over about ¼ cup tomato puree. Layer in beans, all facing the same direction and cover with tomato puree. Layer over zucchini slices, then caramelised onions, cover with tomato puree, then layer the grilled fennel over the top. Drizzle over remaining tomato puree. The layers should reach the top of the tin. Cover with a wooden board and refrigerate 2-3 hours, until set. If the terrine is wobbling when pressed from the top, let refrigerate another 1-2 hours. You can make this recipe a day ahead and leave to set overnight.
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