Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes - updated


Why, hello there! I know that I have been a bit absent as of late. Oh gosh, it is Summeritis and I have it bad. Plus, I also took an extra day or two off to celebrate the fact that I made it another year and can now wear the ripe ol' age (or young, depending on how you look at it) of 46 on my shoulder. Yes, I had a lovely day because I know that you will ask. And I am sending out a sincere thank you as well to those of you that sent me such kind and thoughtful wishes via the internet(s). 


But what was that I was saying about ripe? Because if you are talking about tomatoes we have a whole lot of that around here. As in oodles...


...of different sizes shapes and textures.


Now. I tried to tell Remi that planting 22 pieds for just the two of us was a bit ridiculous but of course he just looked at me and nodded, then planted them anyway!


But amazingly, we haven't yet reached the "take my tomatoes please" level of overload where we are handing them out to all and sundry (save for certain of our neighbors ;) despite the numbers that have been rolling in steadily. 


And the reason behind that is simply because we love eating them so much! Breakfast, lunch and dinner, it's all good.

Exhibit A: I think that we have well established that while a foodie, I am even more of a Food-E. If you don't know what I am talking about well then click: http://lostinarles.blogspot.fr/2013/10/food-e.html. I love that post if I may say so myself. What I am not so proud to admit, is that laziness can slide into obsessiveness mighty quickly. If something is delicious and of the smack your forehead "why didn't I think of that before variety" I won't be able to stop making it. Case in point? See above. You are looking grilled baguette topped with whipped feta (feta, cream cheese, maybe a splash of crème fraiche, a pinch of garlic powder and herbs de Provence), those 'matoes and a pinch of salt. Try and you will be addicted too. I'm sorry/not sorry.



Looking for something more old-school? How about this uber (no, not Uber) traditional Provençal tart? I had forgotten about its existence until the lovely Madame L in the village told me that she was serving it for a luncheon. Well, if it is elegant enough for her...you know the rest. Let's get started shall we? As I have said before, I buy ready-made pastry crust because a) I live in France and b) as we have already established, I am lazy. I like this best with a pâte brisèe or short pastry crust. Butter up your dish (yes, butter) roll out your dough and pre-bake for a few minutes at 200°C or 400°F. Remove and nap a goodly layer of Dijon mustard. I use Maille Fin Gourmets because it is fabulous and has a bit of whole grains in it which helps give the tart bite (or you could just make up your own combo of regular/whole grain Dijon but I am sorry kids, that bright yellow stuff just won't cut it here). Then shred a fair amount of emmenthal over the mustard, keeping in mind that this is a tart and not a pizza, which can be very hard for me to do. Then top with the star of the show, your hopefully ready to burst sunshine on a plate tomatoes, add a bit of black olives and maybe a crushed garlic clove in the center - top with some herbs de Provence and cook until the tomatoes get a touch brown which doesn't take long, say twenty minutes or so. 

Is the above description too rambly for you? Would you like to make your own crust based on a Dorie Greenspan recipe? Then by all means please go visit my friend, the lovely Ann Mah, who recently did her own take on this exact same recipe which makes me look like a copy-cat plus as a bonus on the there is an excellent recipe for "Ratatouillaise" on the home page by our mutual friend, the gorgeous Kristin Espinasse!



Now, I hope you will forgive me if that sounds a little name-droppy. Come on, you know I am not like that! Geez. Ok, just for today because it is going to continue: next up, on the "how to use up crates of tomatoes" menu is an obvious one, tomato sauce! And I first realized the difference in roasting my tomatoes after making this super easy soup from the truly gorgeous and very funny Sharon Santoni. It rolls out kinda like this: Cover a roasting pan in two tablespoons or cuilière à soupe of olive oil. Sprinkle on top of the oil, a generous shake of herbs de Provence, coarse sea salt, a bit of sugar (half of a teaspoon) and four or so crushed and chopped garlic cloves. Warm up the oven to 200°C or 400°F (I honestly seem to cook everything at this temperature, do you?). Core and cut in two your tomatoes. Place them cut side down and roast them until the skin starts to peel away, say forty minutes. Let them cool and remove the skins (as I am impatient, I never wait long enough and so burn my fingertips). Put the tomatoes in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse, throw the garlic in and add the juicy olive oil in by batch to get it to the right consistency and voila. It really is that easy and is of course, better the next day. If I can actually stop eating all of the tomatoes in sight, I hope to freeze this as winter is right around the corner, my friends! (Please oh please oh please let this heatwave end.) 


So, that just leaves gazpacho, right? Right. But. You see I gave my "recipe" - that is as equally long-winded and vague as the others here - to my divinely beautiful friend Ellie (last name drop ever, I swear!) at Have Some Decorum for her scheduled post on the subject but she up and decided to write a very moving tribute for her daughter's 20th birthday instead. The nerve! So I will just have to update the link when she posts. * Because I am pretty proud of my gazpacho. And apparently, Remi is pretty proud of his. You see, in our house I make all of the soups, pizzas, pastas, hummus/spreads, apéro tastiness and Remi cooks....everything else. It isn't so confusing that, is it? And yet, Mr. "Anything you can do I can do Better" has decided to step in on my gazpacho game, upping the ante. Then of course, I have to do the same in riposte. Welcome to the Gazpacho Wars. 

Well, it may not be pretty but I will admit one thing, it is a mighty great way of using up the ultimate cure of Summeritis: tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. 


*Done! You can find it and some truly phenomenal other gazapachos (cucumber wasabi anyone?) by clicking Here. 

And speaking of udpates...I know that a lot of you were interested in my friend Anthony's incredibly charming house that was for sale? Well, as I am superstitious I wanted to wait until it was a done deal but I am happy to say that it has been sold. Remi and I visited to say, "au revoir" to it the other day and it wasn't without sadness for I really do adore that house. But I can't wait to share with you his newest project, hopefully next month. But's lets just say as a teaser that onwards and upwards most certainly applies...

And since you have been kind enough to come back for this update (a new post tomorrow!), I wanted to thank you by sharing one of the great all time classics, played on repeat at our house during warm summer evenings or anytime of year:


I had a lot of fun putting this post together for you. 
As always, thank you SO much for being here and for the insightful comments on my previous post.
Bon appetite! 



42 comments:

wendy said...

Fabulous photos!! Complimentary colors bien sur...you are the exact same age of my daughter who lives in Aix en Provence..l..I'm sure we will meet one day..c'est tout petit ici!!!!

Loree said...

Summeritis? Haha that is one thing I do not think I suffer from - except the extreme laziness that the season bring about. Have been hoping for the heat-wave to end and we've had rain. Three times since last Saturday! and I am so relieved. It's a but cooler now and I am loving it - for as long as it lasts. Your tomatoes look delicious. I bet they are nice and sweet. Glad you enjoyed your birthday.

donna baker said...

Nothing tastes better than homegrown tomatoes. Last year I even tried drying them in the oven, but then I didn't know what to do with them. I tried putting them in oil but they just tasted oily.

La Contessa said...

THAT TOMATO TART sounds like the one I sent via MiMi's BOOK!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY...................46............How is that possible!
This POST was one of MY favorites!!!I cannot wait to read about REMI's GAZPACHO..............God knows you have enough Tomatoes to PLAY with!EAT three a day for ME!!!!!!!!!!!!XOXOXO

Judith Ross said...

First of all, officially, Happy Birthday! Second, we, too are awash with ripe tomatoes -- or at least our local organic farm is. Yum. I love them sliced on a good piece of sourdough that has been slathered with my own homemade mayonnaise. Any cherry tomatoes in you patch? Well, Wednesday Chef had a luscious foccacia recipe that I recently made that involves pizza dough, fresh mozzarella, chard, anchovies, and, cherry tomatoes. Nice and bready, oozing with cheese. The perfect dinner for a hungry swimmer. I posted a photo of it on Instagram.

Anyway, I'm going to try the tomato tart!

Again, Happy Birthday!

simpleimages2 said...

Wow those tomatoes are red, robust & appetizing. I have to taste your tomato tart.Looks so delicious.

Your gazpacho has to compete with Mrs. Abstract’s gazpacho.

Rowan said...

Wishing you a very happy birthday Heather! Loved all your tomatoitis in summeritis!
Cheers,
Deb C - Melbourne

Bill Facker said...

Aha moment .. next time the obnoxious telephone talker invades your eardrums, smile .... and give him the biggest tomatoe you can find .. just sayin' :-) Happy Birthday!

Mahalo et Merci,
Bill

www.kauai-to-paris.com

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday, and Best Wishes for many, many more, Heather!! May the celebration continue!!

Your photography does those tomatoes justice...they are glorious! While we wait for ours to ripen in our shady garden, we load up with tomatoes often at the farmer's market. Thank you for the recipes; I will happily put them to good use but in the near future probably focus on the upcoming one for gazpacho (because of the heat). Wish I were close enough to help you out when the number of tomatoes (22 feet of tomato plants?!) overwhelm...

Do the pups like to eat tomatoes?

robin said...

Sistah, methinks the heat is getting to you, as you are loopy in this post! But in a good way! (You funny). Your tomatoes & dishes look SO GOOD!!! And how much would I love to be the judge of your & Remi's gazpacho contest? A LOT!

Elizabeth Minchilli said...

Thanks for this! I was actually looking for a tomato tart recipe, and now I just have to find some mustard out here in Umbria and I'll be all set.

Silke Bauer said...

Wonderful! Delicious! Look at that Red! And I bet they taste like heaven. And you can't even buy those! I like also your ceramics. Especially the turqoise one from the gazpacho foto. Is it from that Arlesian ceramicist? Sophie was her name? That photo looks like you added a filter, but it may be the shade of your wine leaves... (;

The canicule chez vous is really enormous. I think on the weekend it gets a little tiny bit better. Hopefully for you!

Once more HAPPY BIRHTDAY, Heather!

I'd love to see more of those vegetables from your garden...

Heather Robinson said...

C'est vrai que c'est tellement petit ici...something I love about Provence. Everyone is so much more accessible than they were in Paris or New York...Please do say hello if you see me wandering around Aix or Arles!

Heather Robinson said...

I am so jealous of your rain, Loree! You have rain on Malte and we haven't had here? How is this possible? ;) And the laziness is most certainly a part of Summeritis in my book...

Heather Robinson said...

See? That is what I thought too. Good to know as you saved me the experiment!

Heather Robinson said...

It is pretty similar to Madame Mimi's but hers is...of course...more elegant, this one more rustic.

We will be taste testing the next round of the Gazpacho Wars today at lunch! Remi is up...and I will keep you posted!

Heather Robinson said...

Oh I missed that on ig and it sounds amazing! You are definitely a foodie and not a Food E like I am. :) Alas, no cherry tomatoes this year - an error on our part as everyone else grows them and they are so incredibly good. Next year hopefully.

Thank you for the birthday wishes...

Heather Robinson said...

Uh oh. You mean that I have to compete with Remi AND Mrs. Abstract? *waves white flag in the air*

Heather Robinson said...

Merci, Deb. Bisous!

Heather Robinson said...

Bill! *giggles*
Much Mahalo as always for your wise words and good spirit,
H

Heather Robinson said...

We have never given them any! Interesting...although they were more than happy to have a bit of melon from Cavaillon yesterday. :) Will email my "recipe" for gazpacho soon...

Oh! And it is 22 plants - they call them 'pieds' in French!

Heather Robinson said...

You funny! I can't be serious ALL THE TIME....heeheehee

Heather Robinson said...

Oh, I am happy that for once, I gave you a food idea! It's a miracle! :)

I actually had meant to put a link to your zucchini roundup at the end of this. Friends, if you have a glut of zucchini instead of tomatoes, take a look:
http://www.elizabethminchilliinrome.com/2015/07/zucchini-recipe-roundup/

Heather Robinson said...

You have such good memory, Silke! I need to borrow some of it! ;) Yes, her name is Sophie Lesange but those are just our pretty but cheapy everyday ceramics.

As for the photo, bien vu! Not a filter though but I bumped up the brightness a bit too much, I think. I just wanted a happy gazpacho photo. :)

And we are on a natural "pause" with things growing right now - and the canicule has really made the garden suffer - but hopefully much more is on its way...

gros bisous
H

Karena Albert said...

Oh this all looks and sounds so delicious Heather, and for someone who no longer cooks all of the time, rather easy!!
Fresh tomatoes, what can be better!!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena
Artist Nicoletta Belletti

I Dream Of said...

Would you mind if I dove into your bowl of gazpacho and swam around a bit? I am in total tomato rapture over here and wishing that I could just pop by and "borrow" a few from you. Can we talk about the sad, sad, tomato situation at our silly, expensive, supposed-to-be-superior grocery store (ahem Whole Foods) and the fact that their heirloom tomatoes, although they look pretty, must have been picked when they were green little things and left to ripen in a warehouse somewhere. They have absolutely zero flavor. It's just not right. Clearly I need to get myself to a farmers market... but this has been a summer of sitting and my desk and painting up a storm, without a lot of time for field trips. Anyway, enough of my tomato-envy rant and back to your post which is gorgeous and paint-able and not a bit name-droppy. It's gorgeous and makes me so happy to know that these beautiful tomatoes belong to you!

Glad you had a happy birthday - love that we are the same age, although I have you beat by a few months. Here's hoping that this is a most delicious year for you!!!!!

Sending love and hugs xxooxo

Jackie and Joel Smith said...

From one who just turned. . .ahem. . . (drum roll). . .ahem. . . (aKKcccKKKK) 62 this summer, I'd have to say ripe 'old age' is awaiting many seasons ahead for you. So while I wait for my first . . .(choke) . . .Social Security check - which does pay better than freelance writing, btw -- I will have to try some of your tomato recipes, the tart may just have my name on it. Happy, Happy Birthday to you and have a superb year ahead!!!! Hugs, Jackie

Ann Mah said...

Your fruit is GORGEOUS! Enjoy the glut! Revel in it! And I can't wait to try YOUR tomato tart soon... the garlic clove -- yum!

Heather Robinson said...

This is all super duper easy, Karena. That is the only way that I cook! I promise you. And for the feta and tomatoes it is just as good on good bread not toasted - so NO cooking is involved! :) And the tart is so easy: tart, mustard, cheese, tomatoes, oven = done!
xo
H

Heather Robinson said...

You are such a sweetie pea. :) And yay for painting up a storm and hopefully selling a whole lot too!!!! And hello? You know that I wish you lived closer - I would shower you in veggie gifts!

Heather Robinson said...

Happy Belated Birthday to you too! Well, you look at least ten years younger than who you are and let's hear it for a Social Security check! Whooohooo!!!! I would take one, happily.
And yes, you will love the tart.
Thanks for the bday wishes...

Heather Robinson said...

Uh-huh. You are just trying to make your copycat friend feel better... ;)
Bisous!

Libby said...

Somewhere I have a recipe for tomato-orange marmalade! I made it many years ago and it was superb…and a perfect way to use up those tomatoes. Will have to dig it out and do a post! No, you can never have enough of these babies..and I like the "cosmetically challenged" the best!

RebeccaNYC said...

Oh yum and yum and yum all over again. Favorite really complicated and difficult tomato recipe: Two pieces of really good bread slathered with mayonnaise layered with sliced tomatoes and sprinkled with sea salt. Smoosh together and eat standing at the sink with the juice dripping down your chin. If you are really being fancy, add some basil. O. M. G. a mouthful of summer right there.

Maywyn Studio said...

Loving the tomato pie! Tomatoes, feta cheese, olive oil, bread, and garlic are my all year favorite foods.
The first time I planted tomatoes...well, they were in six packs. Not knowing what kind I wanted, I planted all 18. There were shopping bags of tomatoes given away.

Lisa Southard said...

Summeritis in full bloom here too- but finally here is the link for the 'soil makes you happy' article!
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/antidepressant-microbes-soil.htm
Gazpacho is awesome stuff :-) xx

Tracy Wood said...

You can never have too many tomatoes Heather. I f you have time, try my twice tomato tart. It's not too hard and the roasted tomato sauce is delicious. I freeze lots of the sauce, and use it during winter. xxTracy

Heather Robinson said...

Tomato orange marmalade?! That sounds insane. It reminds me of a tomato orange sauce that I used to make with a lamb stew....hmmm, we are on a roll here! ;)

And "cosmetically challenged" is all we have!

Heather Robinson said...

That made my mouth water and it is breakfast time! Yum, yum and yum all over again. :)

Heather Robinson said...

Now, we SHOULD be in that same position but because of the heatwave this summer...well, it was too hot even for the tomatoes! And that is saying something...

Heather Robinson said...

Oh yay! Thank you Lisa!

Heather Robinson said...

I bet it is! And will go take a looksee!! Merci, Tracy...