As homegrown tomato season hits its stride, consider these true-to-France ways to enjoy them.
But first, an aside: Do you know what the French call heirloom tomatoes?
They’re called Tomates d’Autre Fois—Tomatoes of Another Time. Poetic, n’est-ce-pas?
Now, on to ways to serve summer’s most beloved crop.
1. As an appetizer: I snapped the photo below with my phone when I was having lunch with Martine Cazeneuve, owner of Chateau Paloumey, maker of Cru Bourgeois in the Medoc.
Before lunch, our small group sat in the lovely living room of her chateau enjoying a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. For the apéritif, she brought out nothing more than some local grape tomatoes plucked at their peak of perfection. They went beautifully with the Sauvignon Blanc, and were all we needed to get the appetite going before we sat to the table for a gratifying lunch.
If that seems too slight, do what my friend Martine (in the Rousillon) did: Serve the tomatoes alongside some thin, cured sausage and maybe a small bowl of a salty snack.
2. As a simple salad
4. In a Soup
You might not be thinking of warm soup in the throes of summer, but take my word for it: You should. When you get more tomatoes than you know what to do with, make a few batches of this soup and freeze in 2- or 4-serving portions (depending on how many people generally come to your table). In a few months, you’re going to be so happy you have this soup—when the cold wind starts to blow, you’ll be able to taste the freshness of summer in a warming preparation.
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Tomato and Garlic Soup
From The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day.
Makes 4 to 6 first-course or side-dish servings
2 pounds ripe red tomatoes, cored, halved, and seeded
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
2. Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the olive oil on a large rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast until the tomatoes are soft and starting to brown, about 20 minutes.
3. Transfer the tomatoes and garlic to a large saucepan. Add the chicken broth, 1 tablespoon sugar, and the thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Allow the soup to cool slightly. Use a food mill or an immersion blender to purée the soup until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan; taste and add another tablespoon of sugar if more sweetness is desired. Reheat gently; ladle into bowls to serve.
Though magical on its own, you can add a few stir-ins for extra layers of
flavor, if you wish:
• While the tomatoes are roasting, sauté 2 canned anchovy fillets in a
little olive oil, stirring until they break apart and dissolve into the oil.
Cool and add to the tomatoes before puréeing.
• Drizzle the finished soup with any complementary-flavored oil you
might have around, such as avocado oil or lemon-garlic olive oil.
• Season the finished soup with a specialty sea salt, such as smoked
• If you like a creamy soup, stir in a little cream or half-and-half to
reach the desired consistency and heat through.
For French cooking and lifestyle tips, follow Wini Moranville on Facebook at Chez Bonne Femme and check out her blog at chezbonnefemme.com.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.