Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Taste of Provence - Fresh Tomato Soufflé

I've been totally obssesed with the flavors of Provence and the simplicity and quality of the food from there, from Sardinia, and the likes, that I have made a few inspired dishes. Today for example I baked potatoes with rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions, olive oil salt and pepper and it was heaven.

On the weekend I had my bother and sister over with their respective partners and we had that risotto I blogged about a while back (apricots and brie). It was wonderful, but the starter was the real star of the show. Inspired by the provence episode of No Reservations where Tony has lunch with a wealthy vineyard owners. Their meal was so chic in its simplicity. They had tomato soufflé with bread and a leafy freen (prolly arougula), whole baked bass with potatoes, cheese platter, and lots and lots of wine. I went online and researched for tomato soufflé recipes and finally found one I thought was similar and would represent. I adapted the flavors a bit (not quantities so much) so as to match what I had in mind it would taste like. I got the recipe from here, and these are the changes I made (flavor-wise only):

-I used Italian tomatoes (instead of 2 med size, I used 5 relatively small Italian tomatoes)
-I cooked the tomatoes with thyme (a bunch tied together), 2 whole cloves of garlic smashed with my knife, but not chopped, rosemary tied to the bunch of thyme, 1 star anise (so good), 1/4 tsp vanilla (trust me on this)
-After everything was thoroughly cooked I took out the rosemary/thyme bundle as well as the star anise and garlic.
-I blended everything in the blender
-chopped a handful of fresh basil and about 150 gr sundried tomatoes (in olive oil preserve).
I did all of this before adding the bechamel, etc.

The recipe came out perfect. I would have liked to cook it in individual ramekins, but I don't have them so I baked it in glass pie dish. It looked beautiful, the flavours were intense and crave-worthy, the consistency was airy but still velvety and a little dense - kind of. It was great. Everyone loved it, and it has won a coveted place in my recipe box.

Please check out the link and try out the recipe for yourself. It's easy, tastes and looks super chic, and is guaranteed to impress anyone you serve this to.

Sorry I have no pictures....I'm such a terrible blogger. I will post a picture update next time I make it - which will be super soon!

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