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Recipes & Entertaining Ideas

Filtering by Tag: 07

No-Cook Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Herb Salad

Marc J. Sievers

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Living in downtown Chicago, I don’t have the space to have a vegetable garden, but I am lucky enough to live around the corner from a fabulous farmer’s market. It is my favorite place in the city to buy fresh produce, especially heirloom tomatoes and fresh herbs. My Heirloom Tomato & Fresh Herb Salad is the perfect way to use up your bounty of beautiful, colorful tomatoes and to make sure none of your herbs go to waste. Add this recipe to your rotation if you are looking for a make-ahead dish! This salad can sit at room temperature for several hours, allowing all of the herbs to slowly infuse the olive oil. I like to serve this with crusty bread to soak up every last drop of the oil!

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Ingredients

  • Heirloom Tomatoes – 3 pounds, varying sizes and colors

  • Olive Oil – ½ cup, plus more for serving

  • Fleur de Sel – 1 ½ teaspoons, plus more for garnish

  • Black Pepper – 1 ½ teaspoons, freshly cracked, plus more for garnish

  • Basil – ½ cup

  • Parsley – ½ cup, whole leaves, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Mint – ½ cup, whole leaves

  • Dill – ½ cup, whole fronds

  • Chives – ½ cup, trimmed 1 ½ -inch lengths

  • Tarragon – ½ cup, whole leaves

Directions

  1. Cut the large tomatoes in thick slices, the medium ones in wedges and the smaller ones in half.

  2. Choose a large platter or shallow serving bowl and arrange the tomatoes so you have varying sizes and colors mixed together and drizzle with olive oil.  Sprinkle with Fleur de Sel and black pepper.

  3. Next, scatter the tomatoes with all of the fresh herbs.  Drizzle with more olive oil and garnish with more Fleur de Sel and black pepper.

Tip: Not only is this a fabulous salad, I also love to toss it with freshly cooked pasta, red pepper flakes and ciliegine (small balls of fresh mozzarella) for an earthy dinner – perfect for weeknights and company, too!

Summer Tip: Whether you buy your tomatoes from the farmers market, farmstand or grocery store, I like to leave them in a warm sunny window for at least 4 hours before serving.  The sun will warm them up and help release the aromatics from the fresh herbs – a perfect summer treat!

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A Parisian Flower Arrangement with Tulips & Eucalyptus

Marc J. Sievers

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When I pick up my fresh flowers for the week, I love to mix them into interesting and modern arrangements that are simple, chic and completely unexpected. While in Paris working on my new book last month, I found these gorgeous, long-stemmed Dutch tulips and some fabulous eucalyptus branches at one of my favorite florists in the city, the incredibly stunning Adriane M Fleuriste in Saint-Germain-des-Près. You could easily find both of these at your local grocery store! Eucalyptus is a go-to of mine throughout the year, because I can get a voluminous, dramatic effect without spending a lot of money. Using the eucalyptus as a foundation, build the arrangement by placing the branches in a vase filled with warm water. There is no rhyme or reason for the placement of the branches, which is half of the fun (the more wild looking the better!). For the tulips, be sure to cut the stems on a diagonal, to allow the blooms to drink in as much water as possible. Then place the tulips around in the vase to complement the eucalyptus branches. Et voilà! A beautiful Grocery Store Flowers Made Fabulous arrangement, perfect for entertaining or for an earthy and elegant everyday moment just for you.

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Fines Herbes French Omelette

Marc J. Sievers

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One of my favorite dishes to make is a classic French omelette.  In fact, it has become my house meal, what I always serve to guests the first time they visit my home.  French omelettes are easy and really fabulous when they are made with just a handful of fresh ingredients.  My Fines Herbes French Omelette lets the fresh herbs shine while tucked inside a beautifully folded simple French omelette.  It’s the perfect quick weekday meal and a great way to make use of leftover herbs.  Don’t let the technique scare you!  Getting the fold just right does take some practice, but if you take your time (and remember it’s all in the wrist!), you will be whipping up these omelettes in no time.  And I really do mean ‘no time’.  This omelette only takes 30 seconds to cook!  Who doesn’t love a 30-second meal?

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Ingredients (makes 1 omelette, multiply recipe as needed)

  • Eggs –  2, extra-large, at room temperature

  • Sea  Salt – ½ teaspoon

  • Black Pepper – ½ teaspoon, freshly cracked

  • Dill  – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Tarragon - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Chives - ¾ teaspoon, finely minced

  • Parsley – ¾ teaspoon, finely minced, Italian flat leaf variety

  • Butter  – 1 tablespoon, unsalted

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, pepper and fresh herbs until the yolks and whites are fully incorporated.

  2. Place a 10-inch non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.   Allow the pan to get very hot, but not smoking.

  3. Add the butter and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom and sides of the pan.  Once the butter is completely melted, the foam has subsided, pour the eggs into the center of the butter.

  4. Allow the eggs to sit for just a few seconds before you begin swirling the pan over the heat.

  5. Continue the swirling motion for roughly 20 to 25 seconds.  Once the eggs begin to set and there is just a little bit of wetness in the center, jerk the pan several times back and forth in order to fold the eggs onto itself.  The finished omelette will end up in the far lip of the pan.

  6. Grasp the handle of the pan from underneath and rest the far lip of the pan  (where the omelette has formed) slightly off-center onto the bottom of a dinner plate.

  7. Gently turn the pan upside down over the plate.  The omelette will then drop into position.

  8. Garnish with more salt, pepper and fresh herbs and serve.

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