Gary Townsend, of One Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow, is The Herald Magazine's new chef. Each week he'll be sharing his favourite recipes. We hope you enjoy trying them out – and please let us know how you get on.

This dish is a firm favourite on One Devonshire Gardens' summer lunch menu. It works well as a starter or a light meal. Tomatoes are just so versatile and there is no denying tomato and basil is a classic combination. Here I have used a mixture of British heritage tomatoes which come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. This is a brilliant vegetarian dish which is simple to make but big on flavour.

Serves 2-4


3-4 ripe hass avocados

1 x juiced lime


100g selection of tomatoes of your choice ie baby plum/ heritage

2 of cloves garlic


Basil leaves

1-2 mozzarella balls

Olive oil

Sea salt


For this dish the baby plum tomatoes are slowly cooked in olive oil, garlic and thyme. Fill a pan with olive oil, just to cover the tomatoes. Add a few cloves of garlic and thyme, sit on a low heat for around and hour or two. The tomatoes will be ready when the skins start to peel off and they almost melt in your hand.

To make the avocado mousse remove the stones and skin from the avocados. Place in a blender with 1 juiced lime, a couple of drops of tabasco, a pinch of salt and blend until smooth. Push this through a sieve to get the smoothest puree. If you are storing this make sure the cling film touches the mouse as it could oxidise quickly.

For the fresh tomatoes they can be cut as you desire. Slices or wedges or a mixture. Season with a little salt.

The mozzarella can be torn into pieces, served as one piece or sliced. I’ve finished the dish with fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil.

This is a dish that can be built in any way for any occasion. Let your imagination go wild and see what you come up with.

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See or phone 0141 378 0385