With this post I am beginning a series of recipes for dishes that I serve at Cafe du Soleil. The beautiful photos are done by Phillippe Touitou. Some of these photos can also be found on our website www.cafedusoleilnyc.com so please check that out if you want to see more food pictures. I will be providing recipes for those dishes in the upcoming months. Some of these will be ratio recipes, or have ratio elements to them, but mostly I am featuring them to give you a better idea of how we present the dishes at the restaurant.
Today’s recipe is quite simple to make. It’s one of our most popular appetizers at Cafe du Soleil - if you’re in the New York area please come by and try it. The name of the dish refers to the use of French Montrachet goat cheese but any soft goat cheese log will do. You can even use a flavored log but that will change the dish a bit. You can use many types of tomatoes – beefsteak, heirloom, etc. as long as they are fully ripe and ready to eat. I wouldn’t suggest plum tomatoes as they are not juicy enough. This dish does get baked a little, but it’s mostly to warm the tomato through not really to bake it.
Tomate Montrachet – serves 4 as an appetizer
4 Vine Ripe Tomatoes
8 ozs. Montrachet Goat Cheese (or other fresh goat cheese)
1/2 cup Basil Pesto
2 T Chive Oil (see recipe in blog post from June 18, 2008)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup Shallots, peeled and choppped
1/2 cup Imported White Wine Vinegar
1 28 oz. can Whole Plum Tomatoes, peeled, in juice
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F.
Saute shallots in olive oil until soft, add white wine vinegar and cook about 15 minutes until reduced by half. Add tomatoes and their juice and simmmer about 30 – 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Puree in blender or with hand blender until smooth. Adjust seasoning (you can add more vinegar if you like a sharper vinaigrette). Set aside in a warm place until ready to serve.
Slice each tomato into 3 even slices. Set the top of each tomato aside and lay the remaining slices out on worktable. Spread about 1 T of basil pesto on each slice. Cut the goat cheese into 8 even slices and flatten each slice to the same size as the tomato slice. Place one disc of goat cheese on each tomato slice, season with salt and pepper, then reconstruct each tomato finishing each with the top slice.
Baking and Assembly:
Place tomatoes on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bak in oven about 10 minutes until warmed through. When ready to serve place a couple spoonfuls of tomato vinaigrette on each plate, place a tometo on each plate, and decorate the egde of the plate with chive oil, or you could use some pesto thinned with a little olive oil. You can also decorate the plate with a few leaves of baby salad greens. Just remember that the star of this plate is the tomato so dont overpower it with greens.
As always please send comments or feedback so I know how you are enjoying these recipes.