23 August 2013
I've been home for a few days now after a lovely holiday in the South of France. Its strange to be in Paris at this time of year because it's so empty. It feels like living in a little village hidden in a big city. The shops are still closed, the streets are quiet. People are more likely to stop and have a conversation with you.
I spoke to an old man on the metro this morning about the situation in Syria. That doesn't happen often enough. He was reading Le Figaro newspaper and I was reading Le Parisien and we were comparing notes.
It's odd how I feel an allegiance to the newspaper I read first. It's also very silly.
Most people will get back from their summer holidays this weekend and then Paris should be up and running again by Monday.
So this is the second last evening of the official Summer, the last quiet Paris-is-the-countryside evening. I made tomato crumble. It tasted like the last of summer and comfort. It tasted sweet but not too sweet and buttery but not too buttery.
We had all the windows flung open and no sounds came from the outside.
You will need:
(for two people, easily doublable)
a bunch of basil
50 g butter, chopped into cubes
50 g flour
30 g emmenthal cheese or parmesan
1/2 tsp of salt
1. Preheat oven to 165C /330F.
2. You are about to get a tip. I love tips. In French they're called 'Astuces'. That makes me think of the word 'astute'. I would like to be astute. I learnt how to chop an onion properly with a Youtube video and I feel so proud every time I chop one right now.
The tip is - Throw the four tomatoes in boiling water for 10-15 seconds. You will not beeeliiieve how easily their skins peel off. That's what you want to do now.
Peel the skins off the tomatoes. Its very satisfying.
3. Cut out all the seedy, pulpy part of the tomatoes until you are left with little tomato boats.
4. Slice and cube up the tomato boats.
5. Place the tomato bits into a small casserole and sprinkle with salt, pepper and tears of basil.
6. In a separate bowl, add flour, butter cubes and cheese. Use the ends of your fingers to mix the ingredients together until you are left with a pastry that resembles fat bits of sand.
7. Sprinkle your crumble over the tomatoes.
8. Place the dish in the oven for 50 minutes or until the crumbles start turning a golden brown.
9. Serve with a green salad and perhaps some goat's cheese.