Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yellow, Yellow, Yellow

Do you remember that in my last post I was complaining that I did not have enough courage for cooking because of tropical temperatures? And now you know what? I came back to cooking, and this is mainly what this post is about.

August started which means that the season for all types of soil tomatoes finally started. We can actually enjoy these summer tomatoes only for two or three months a year.  The season is too short, but I dare to say that our local tomatoes are not worse than those from southern Europe. When I am in Krakow in the summertime, I always buy extraordinary ones, on the food market I my neighbourhood, from a nice woman, who, twice per week, sells tomatoes straight from her farm in various sizes, shapes and colours. When I come back to France by car, I always buy a crate of them. Not because they are cheaper than in Paris, but simply because they are delicious. A quintessence of tomato in a tomato. Skins which peel easily without blanching them in boiling water. Pulpy, juicy but not watery. Sweet.

This is nothing special for those, who have access to great organic food markets in NYC, London or Paris. But for me, who watches the changes in my country, the discovery of various types of tomatoes on a small provincial food market is a tiny proof that something has been changing in my country. I remember from my childhood only one type of plain, round red tomatoes. One could only dream about Lima or Buffalo, or cherry tomatoes.  Or yellow ones.

The leitmotiv for last Saturday’s lunch, which I prepared for my father, was the colour yellow. Soup, tart, pesto… The monotony of yellowness was slightly disturbed by “Bruschettas with Young Beans and Grilled Bacon”, as well as by “fried Chanterelles, Spinach and Parmiggiano”. There are the dishes:

Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

For my Gazpacho I used very ripe round yellow tomatoes and one grilled yellow bell pepper. The soup was quite sweet. I broke the sweetness by the addition of white wine vinegar, but I believe you can add more than indicated in the recipe. It was good, but not outstanding (or it is just a matter of taste).

Serves 4

1 yellow bell pepper
1 slice of stale bread
150 ml chilled mineral water
700 g yellow tomatoes, blanched and peeled, seeds removed 
2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 handful of peeled almonds, sliced
6 nice basil leaves
½ half yellow onion, peeled and chopped 
1 small cucumber (max 100 g), washed, peeled and chopped  
Lemon zest of ¼ of small organic lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
A pinch of powdered chili

1. Preheat oven until 180° Celsius. Place your bell pepper on a baking sheet and bake it for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until its skin is well grilled and does not stick to the bell pepper anymore. Flip the bell pepper occasionally, so it will bake evenly. Remove the bell pepper from the oven, put into a plastic bag and let cool down. Then remove it from the bag, place it on a cutting board, and cut it along. Remove gently its stem, the seeds and peel the skin using a small and sharp kitchen knife.
2. In a small bowl, soak the bread in mineral water for a few minutes.
3. Put bell pepper, tomatoes, bread with its soaking water, garlic, onion, cucumber, basil lemon zest in your food processor or blender. Process the ingredients until smooth. Season with lemon juice, wine vinegar, olive oil, chili, salt and pepper.
4. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving. You can add ice cubes right before serving.

Yellow Tomato Tart with Thyme

This tart may seem too simple at the first sight. For the filling, you only need ripe but firm tomatoes, fresh thyme, garlic and shallots. And that’s enough! You can add local goat or sheep’s cheese, but nothing more. I prefer the simplest savoury tarts with one or two ingredients – the onion tart Provencal style and this tomato are my favourite so far. The key is how you prepare this one ingredient. I like tarts, but except for Quiche Lorraine, I rather do not enjoy all those with heavy cream and eggs; usually, the sauce soaks into the dough; the dough becomes too heavy and too gluey, instead of crispy. I am also a maniac as regards the preparation of tomatoes. Except for some salads, I always peel them and I remove their seeds. I do not like all those pizzas and tarts, where seeds of freshly slices tomatoes drip into the dough, changing its texture into a chewing gum.  For this reason, I strongly recommend frying tomatoes for a while, before placing them in your tart mould. The excess of juices should evaporate if you want to enjoy the crispness of the bottom of the dough. 

I made this tart using home made pâte brisée, which I prepared a month ago and that I kept in my freezer. I used my husband’s recipe, coming from times when he was working as a pastry chef. Home made pâte brisée is not complicated; the only problematic action is to place the dough in the tart mould. It is just time consuming, but I assure that as long as you have a good recipe, the result has nothing to do with an industrial product.  


For the pâte brisée - makes 2 moulds: (18 cm and 24 cm) if rolled out quite finely. If you do not feel like to make your own dough, you can use ready industrial one, but I am not responsible for the final effect. 

200 g flour plus some more extra for your working table
1 teaspoon salt
125 butter, diced
1 large egg
1 tart mould (24 cm)
Baking beans

For the garnish:
700 g ripe but firm yellow Lima tomatoes, blanched, peeled, seeded; cut into quarters
5 tablespoons olive oil 
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

1. Working with a small plastic pastry scraper (if unavailable with the tips of your fingers), combine quickly the flour, salt and butter, until you obtain a “sandy” texture. Add the egg and mix quickly and forms a ball.  If the dough is too dry, add a bit of cold water and mix (if you add too much water, then add a bit more flour). Do not overdo the dough or it will shrink during baking and it will be tougher than necessary.
2. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 2 hours (you can freeze the dough and use it later as well). 
3. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on your working table. Make sure to always sprinkle enough flour between the table and the dough, and over the dough, to prevent it from getting stuck to the table or to the rolling pin. Use the rolling pin to place delicately the dough in the tart mould (I know that it is not easy, but even if the dough breaks a bit do not panic; just try to put the pieces together the best you can). Prick the dough with a fork, wrap the tart mould in plastic film and keep it in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius. Prepare a circle of baking paper, about 30 cm in diameter.
4. Take the dough out of the fridge. Remove the plastic film and place the baking paper on top of the dough; place baking beans over the paper (to prevent the dough from rising in the oven). Bake for about 15 minutes or until it gets slightly gold. Remove the dough from the oven. Let it cool down before removing the baking paper with the beans. Save the beans. Do not switch the oven off.
5. In the meantime, prepare the tomato garnish. Pour olive oil into into a hot saucepan. Add shallots, fry them for 5 minutes, then add garlic, fry for 2 or 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and fry them over high flame, mixing often, delicately (so they will not go to the pieces), for a maximum of 10 minutes.  And here’s one tricky thing. The frying time depends on your tomatoes. You should use ripe but firm tomatoes (Lima tomatoes are ideal). If they are too soft, they will give too much juices and will go into pieces while frying, and we do not want that to happen; on the other hand, they cannot be too cooked (the purpose of frying tomatoes is to get rid off the excess of water, which otherwise would go into the dough. You simply have to watch your tomatoes but if they gave a lot of juices, get rid of the liquid - do not add it to the tart –only add tomatoes! At the very end of frying, add salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Mix and place the totmatoes in the tart shell.
6. Place the tart in the oven and bake until the dough turns to a nice gold colour, and until tomatoes start to caramelize a bit (it should take about 20 to 25 minutes, but you really have to watch them). Remove the tart from the oven and serve hot. This tart tastes well both warm and at room temperature (this is how I served it to my father last Saturday). 

Fresh Corn Pesto (from Lottie & Doof).

As a main dish, I served Pappardelle with Fresh Corn Pesto. I rarely present on my blog dishes of other bloggers. It does not mean that I do not find ideas in culinary blogs. On the contrary, I find a lot of great ideas, and quite often I cook something from my favourite blogs. I do not present those dishes, as I think that the blog is a place to share your own culinary ideas. However, this Fresh Corn Pesto from Lottie + Doof is worth recommendation. Who would think of making a pesto from sweet corn? With grilled crispy bacon, it is absolutely delicious. Check out the recipe and try it. It is great.


Amber said...

Cudowne kolory,piękne dania.
Ja też bardzo lubię pomidory w kolorze yellow!

Joyti said...

The gazpacho and the tart both look amazing!

Szalony Kucharz said...


To be quite honest with you I've never come across yellow tomatoes at my local greengrocers', but then again I live in a small town on the Western outskirts of Europe, where almost every fresh produce is imported. The other day I bought 10 (yes, ten) cherries, big uns, dark red, sweet and meaty, straight from Germany and they cost me an arm and a leg. My guess is that if I managed to find these tomatoes here, they'd probably be considered posh food.

When it comes to tarts I see we're on the same page. Nice, clean cut pastry base, two, maybe three indgrediends for a filling and that's it. Pate brisee is so simple to make there's really no need for anyone to resort to ready-made pastry shells.

Paula said...

co za kolory! absolutne żółte szaleństwo! i na dodatek jakie pyszne :)

Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said...

you're back with 3 great recipes! I guess you got your courage back :)
They all look super good! I may have to borrow a tomato tart recipe. Somehow I don't really come across yellow or orange tomatoes where I shopped. Maybe I need to shop somewhere else. I do love tomatoes but I can only find the red ones :(

Great recipes and photos!

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

Your pictures are amazing! So much color, so much summer! And I love that tart - it sounds so tasty. I have to make it! And the corn pesto too - what a fun idea. I have so much sweet corn to use up!

Unknown said...

Everything looks great, taking advantage of all that summer has to offer, thanks for sharing!

Zielenina said...

wszystko wygląda pysznie :) nie widziałam u mnie żółtych pomidorów, buu

tasteofbeirut said...

So many finds in this post! For one thing, I love the yellow tomatoes, the color is inspirational, it reminds me of Monet and his yellow and blue plates; love that tart with the thyme which goes so well with the tomatoes and also thanks for referring to the corn pesto, definitely will check it out, we have a lot of corn around here in the garden.


What fantastic veggie dishes! I know how exciting it can be to get your hands on produce that is hard to find!

Emily Malloy said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Reeni said...

I'm eagerly waiting for my tomatoes to be ripe so I can make gazpacho. These are lovely dishes! And that corn pesto is so delicious looking - and different - in a good way.

italia od kuchni said...

Żółte warzywa nastajają mnie bardzo pozytywnie. Cudne zdjęcia tu u Ciebie, we wszystkich postach. Jak pomyślę o swoich, to mam kompleksy :) W ogóle Twój blog jest jednym z najpiękniejszych i jednym z najciekawszych w sieci. Pozdrawiam.

Magdalena said...

In Polish:

Lashqueen, wielkie dzieki za te wspaniale komplementy. Milo slyszec, ze wlasnie Tobie podoba sie moj blog. Jezeli chodzi o zdjecia, to sie dopiero ucze. Moje pierwsze zdjecia jedzenia byly wprost okropne. Udanego pobytu u tesciowej zycze, inspiracji kulinarnych i rowniez pozdrawiam!

Zielenino: jeszcze trzy lata temu te zolte pomidory byly bardzo rzadkie; a tu prosze, teraz do wyboru, do koloru. Rozmawialam dzisiaj z pania, ktora sprzedaje te pomidory na pobliskim placyku i co sie okazuje? Te okragle,ktore widac na zdjeciu, to polska zolta odmiana pomidora ozarowskiego. A dzisiaj jeszcze odkrylam pomidora paprykowego – podluzny i w ksztalcie przypominajacy czerwona papryke. Nasiona tego ostatniego sprowadzaja z Holandii. Byl rowniez bardzo dobry, miesisty jak serce bawole, ale bez bruzd, latwo obierajacy sie bez zalewania wrzatkiem. Mam nadzieje, ze i w Twojej okolicy pojawia sie wkrotce rozne odmiany pomidorow. Milego weekendu.

Amber – sa niezle, a na dodatek pieknie sie prezentuja!

Magdalena said...

Indie.Tea – thanks; I also recommend this corn pesto; it was delicious.

Kucharz: thanks a lot! Maybe you should come back to Poland from outskirts of Europe? As I mentioned in my comments to Polish readers, the yellow round tomato that you can see on my picture is a sort of Polish “ozarowski” tomato. Today, I bought a “bell pepper” tomato, which, as its name indicates, looks like a red bell pepper; meaty and juicy; its seeds are imported from Holland; in sum, this lady sells around 10 various species of tomatoes; and you know, all those “strange” tomatoes are awfully expensive in Paris, too, and I do not buy them so often. As regards the tart, we make it quite often using just plain red tomatoes, adding a bit of the goat cheese and fresh thyme. One of my favorite tarts provided that the “pate brise” is homemade!

Tanatha, yes I am back and I do hope that I will be publishing more often, meaning once per week; as regards tomatoes: you can add to this tart red tomatoes, but remember to use those which are firm; you do not want to have tomato puree in your tart, you want tomatoes! even in Paris, yellow tomatoes are expensive and not so common; the dough recipe is a classical French pate brise recipe, very buttery; I encourage you to experiment with it, two or three trials and will be a master!

Katie, thanks for coming back to my blog and your compliment; this pesto is great, but do not forget to grill bacon, as indicated in the recipe; you will be surprised by the final effect. The tart … you will see!

Joumana: thanks; I should then present my tart on a blue plate; but I do not have any blue plate! All of them are white, I buy them in cheap stores in Paris; I do not have money to buy nicer plates; have a nice weekend!

Cinnamon Girl – yes, the pesto is different, who could think of making corn pesto ? Great idea from Lootie. I wait for your tomato recipes!

Bea said...

Swietne propozycje! Nie wiem, na co zdecydowalabym sie w pierwszej kolejnosci... moze na tarte? a moze jednak na gaspacho? Sama nie wiem. Wszystko bardzo apetyczne i slicznie sfotografowane. I takie kolorowe! :)


Unknown said...


Needful Things said...

That Gazpacho looks completely awesome. I love all your photos!

Gitte said...

Lovely yellow color of your Gaspacho soup, all beautiful pictures.

buruuberii said...

Ale mnie zaintrygowalas Magda tym pesto z swiezej kukurydzy - jak juz zrobie zupe marthy, to cos czuje ze kukurydza sie zmiksuje :D

Magdalena said...

In Polish:

Beo, dzieki. Z tych wszystkich propozycji chyba gazpacho bylo najbardziej zwyczajne, a najbardziej zaskakujace pesto z kukurydzy.

Tomasz, milo, ze wpadles!

Buruuberii, mnie tez i dlatego zrobilam - tym bardziej, ze sezon na kukurydze mamy.

Magdalena said...

Gitte and Grapefruit - it is nice to see you here :)

Karolina said...

Everything looks sooooo tasty. Can you send some of this sun to Yorkshire please? I struggle a bit with recent weather. Another must try pesto, it is a shame that I did not buy fresh corn today, tha I have seen in a shop... Have a nice weekend Magda! Cheers!

Magdalena said...

Karolina, I would send some with pleasure; the only problem - the sun is gone....

Deeba PAB said...

Absolutely delightful Mag... love love love the post, the colours, the flavours...WOW!

Magdalena said...

thanks, deeba :)

Magdalena said...

thanks, deeba :)

Delishhh said...

Oh you always amaze me! I love your yellow tomato recipe and i am saving this for my next dinner party end of the month. When you say mineral water, do you mean water with bubbles? Just want to make sure. Looks soooo good.

Magdalena said...

Delishhhh - I meant non sparkling water (I will adjust the recipe later on)

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