Sunday, 3 April 2011

Harem cushion tomatoes


Where we are in the Luberon is a sensuous landscape, with its hilltop villages, lavender fields, clear bright light and rippled blue hills, abundant fruit and vegetables. Scents and colours abound, and even the simplest of meals seems infused with its spirit. Simplicity seems extraordinarily close to hedonism when you find “harem cushion” tomatoes like these in Apt market.

The tomato salad they will make is one of the most delicious and simple dishes known to man: just sliced with onion and a handful of ripped basil, then dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It takes five minutes to assemble and then all you need is a baguette, newly baked with a light crust from your favourite boulangerie in the Rue des Marchands, to mop up all the juices. Here is a spring version, using spring onions for a touch of green instead of basil. The perfect lunch, and a taste of summer and outdoor dining to come.


That summer the house and its surroundings became ours, a time reduced in my memory to separate images and impressions: mirabelles, the tart orange plums like incandescent bulbs strung in forest green leaves, a zinc-topped table under a vine canopy; the budding grapes; the basket on the table, a large bowl; tomatoes ribbed and plump as harem cushions; thick sheets and lace secondhand from the market, and expensive new bedcovers that look as old as the rest; lemon sun in the morning pouring through open windows; our scent in the linen sheets.
                                                                
                                                                                    From The Lantern

PS. I wouldn't normally post two days in a row, but this sits so well with Apt Market yesterday - yes, they are the very same tomatoes we bought at that stall - that I couldn't resist. This was originally part of a guest post I wrote for Lynne Rees, The Hungry Writer here.

28 comments:

RICHARD MOISAN said...

Tu me mets l'eau à la bouche, Deborah!
C'est vrai qu'en Provence, les menus simples, vrais, de terroir, sont les meilleurs. Déjeuner sous une tonnelle, ou dîner aux bougies, en écoutant les cigales ou les crapauds, mais toujours assis à une grande table de bois, le visage légèrement fouetté par une brise chaude.... Hmmmm, quel bonheur!
Bon dimanche, Deborah!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I have to try this!!! It looks DIVINE :)

Elephant Shoes said...

I love your blog! I just had to say that once. Secondly you have made me a new fan of tomatoes. Your words are very colorful and descriptive. Please feel free to post as much as you want. I am going to do some writing exercises now. Thanks for the advice!

Pétales de fées said...

This is a salad of tomatoes so fresh and attractive when the warm days arrive in Provence! This image is already a table! Enjoy the rest of Sunday!

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Those tomatoes look exquisite...fabulous!
Victoria~

MuMuGB said...

And, best of all, it has the taste of summer!

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

amazing story, i'm still drooling and am a little jealous!!! i love tomatoes!!!

juliemooreonlife said...

I love the look of your blog. Thanks for the beautiful recipe.

Spangle said...

Wow this looks delicious, it's like summer on a plate! I hope it tasted as good as it looks.

Valerie Roberts said...

How scrummy do those tomatoes look! MMM.

James Kiester said...

I love finding gem like that. Thanks for sharing.

bookspersonally said...

The tomatoes!!!! Just gorgeous.

MuMuGB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
myinnerchick.com said...

Hey, Popping in from Lady Blogger.
I want that dish NOW! It looks devine.

Kim
myinnerchick.com

Elisabeth Hirsch said...

That looks sooo absolutely delicious ;)

Lindsay said...

Looking at the tomatoes makes me hungry

Arlee Bird said...

Reciprocating the follow of my blog and following yours now. Looks like you have some yummy entries.


Contrary to my usual practice of subscribing to comments, to save time during challenge I will not be doing so during April. If you want to respond to my comment , please email me directly from your email notification for the comment.
Thanks.

Lee
Tossing It Out
Twitter hashtag: #atozchallenge

Adiante said...

Les choses simples, telles ces tomates, font les plus belles photos !

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

That looks wonderful. I am so ready for warmer weather and fresh local produce. Chicago has barely made its way out of winter's clutches.

Serendipity's Library said...

Thankfully I read this post after I had lunch. The colors in your photo are so vivid it looks like you can reach in and pluck one of those tomatoes right out of the screen. Lovely or rather delicious post!

Leovi said...

I love this composition with beautiful shades of red tomatoes, but even more I love your descriptions. My favorite tomato salad is more simple: a very thin tomato slices, salt, oregano and lots of olive oil. And of course a lot of bread. A greeting.

Olga said...

I just found your blog and love it. I also love the vivid colours of your salad :)

BookGeek said...

One of my favorite salads to make! I love indulging in a fresh baguette from a bakery near where I live (I moved even closer, yay!). If I can't get there, then my local grocery market. Thanks for saying hello, too. :)

Carolyn Arnold said...

Now, I'm hungry! :)

And Deborah, btw, I have something for you over on my blog.

http://sassy3421.blogspot.com/2011/04/lovely-blog-award.html

Steve said...

Lovely Blog Deborah. It looks like I must add those tomatoes to my list to grow.

vanessafrance said...

Beautiful photo. I am looking forward to the first proper tomatoes, i.e. those that actually taste of something, having been grwon in the soil and exposed to the sun. We don't grow our own, but benefit from our friends' bounty.

Jennifer O. said...

Wow. Those tomatoes just made me hate my lunch. Great post on the writing, above, as well. "Sometimes we have to give ourselves permission" advice is sound. I read somewhere that the act of moving your fingers, whether it be typing or writing, gets your synapses working. How odd! And yet it works!

Kate said...

what magic tomatoes! I am just picking the last of our summer crop - we had our first dusting of frost yesterday. You are a very good photographer as well as writer! The call of France is irresistable!

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