A trip to any local farmer’s market this time of year is sure to be a treat. I love love love the end of summer here when the tomatoes are at their peak. Red, yellow, orange, green, — you name it, it’s all good. Combine that with the abundance of fresh, green herbs and you’ve got a party. Seriously, if I was a tomato vendor, I’d totally wear one of those crazy velour sweatsuits with “Juicy” stitched on my bum.
I’ve made quite a few dishes using tomatoes this past week, I hardly know where to start. First, is a dish that any respectable francophile should have in their repertoire – the omelet. It’s gotta be soft, billowy and luscious. I was told by one of the waiters at Eve, in Kerrytown, that they super-whip the eggs so they’d have the soufflé-like texture – and they cook their omelets on med-low heat. So, here is my omelette with chives, parsley and fresh goat cheese:
Omelette aux fines herbes et au fromage de chèvre
To make this you’ll need:
5 really good, free-range eggs
1 Tbl milk or cream
1 heaping Tbl each – parsley and chives, finely minced
fresh goat cheese, sliced or broken into smaller pieces
cherry tomatoes – to be placed alongside your omelet
Whip the eggs, milk/cream, salt and pepper with a wire wisk until thoroughly combined – up to 2 minutes. Then, blend in the herbs. Pour the egg mixture into a preheated, preferably non-stick skillet. Cook uncovered on medium heat. As it’s cooking, use a spatula to lift the edges up slightly while tilting your pan to allow mixture drip to the corner of the pan. This helps to evenly cook the omelet. Repeat until the egg mixture no longer runs to the edge. At this point, place the goat cheese along the center of omlette and delicately flip one side of the omelet over. Slide onto a plate and cascade your cherry tomatoes on top and next to the omelet. Serve thick slices with the tomatoes. Bon appétit!
Next up, we’ve got a dish that I prepared last night. It took me about 20 minutes to get this onto the table. How ’bout that, Rachael Ray?! Anyway, I bought some baby Yukon potatoes that I boiled (unpeeled) in salted water. When they were done, I drained them and then tossed them with some olive oil, sliced green onions, minced parsley and salt+pepper. Next I thinly sliced a baguette and smeared some leftover goat cheese. I drizzled a little olive oil and hit that with some S+P and put them under a broiler for a minute. I purchased some salmon from Bello Vino and seared them on med-high heat.
To plate the dish, I placed some lovely green lettuce and halved, cherry tomatoes on the plate. Sprinkled that with some S+P and olive oil. The warm potatoes were next and the salmon placed on top. I garnished with the goat cheese croutons and voilà!
Saumon sur pommes de terre Yukon
At last, we have a dish that I never tire of making or eating. It’s such a simple, summer salad that I picture myself sitting across from Hemingway at a Paris café, eating this salad and chatting about Picasso’s legacy. Just kidding. But really, do I need to say more?
Oeuf poché sur feuille de laitue avec pain grillé à la tomate
Poached egg on lettuce leaf with tomato on grilled bread
To make this salad, you’ll need:
fresh green lettuce
good, free-range eggs
1 garlic clove
the best tomato you can find
balsalmic vinaigrette (1 small shallot, finely minced + 1 part balsalmic vinegar + 3 parts extra-virgin olive oil, S+P)
fresh ground black pepper
fleur de sel or any nice sea salt
Toast or grill your baguette slices. When they are done and while they are still warm, rub the cut side of the bread with the raw garlic clove. — This is something I learned from my friend Carmen. It does wonders to plain bread — trust me.
In a small pan with lightly boiling water, add a dash of vinegar to the water. Then, add your eggs one by one. The vinegar is supposed to help preven the egg whites from thinning out too much.
After two minutes, the eggs should be ready. Their centers should still be soft and a little jiggly, like an oeuf mollet.
To plate the dish, place the poached egg on the bed of lettuce. Using the tip of your knife, slice through the yolk and open the egg a bit. Drizzle the vinaigrette all over – be careful not to over-do it.
Place some fresh slices of tomato, sprinkle good S+P and you’re practically rubbing shoulders with Hemingway.