It is about 400° here in Paris. Apparently, Parisians are not too keen on air-conditioning. They are not too keen on ice cubes either. So, your only hope is to find some shade, a lukewarm drink and only eat fruits and vegetables. Any other food would be gross in this heat. The good news is that the market stands are bursting with juicy fruits and ripe vegetables. Unlike the American version, these fruits and vegetables have flavor. Relax. Americans, you know it’s true.
Over the weekend, I was browsing through House Beautiful magazine. I only halfway look at the interior design part of the magazine because it’s only halfway good. However, I love to look at their monthly recipe section. It’s always good. This month did not fail. The recipe was for a tomato and peach salad with burrata. Burrata is an Italian cheese made of mozzarella and cream. The outer shell is mozzarella and the interior portion is a mixture of mozzarella and cream. Delicious.
Amazingly, I had all of the ingredients in my kitchen! Don’t you love when that happens! I would not be blogging about this salad unless it was faaaabulooouuus. It was. The sweetness of the tomatoes and the tartness of the peaches was the perfect juxtaposition. The basil rounds out the flavors. The recipe is as easy as it can get, so any moron can do it. Here’s the recipe…
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound heirloom tomatoes, cut into eighths (then halved, optional)
1 pound ripe peaches, cut into eighths (then halved, optional)
2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces burrata, sliced
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the burrata, and toss them well. Place the salad onto a serving platter, and top it with slices of the burrata. Serve immediately.
Maybe maybe maybe the only thing I would change is that I would make my own vinaigrette. I have a perfect combination… Balsamic vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, little bit of mustard, little bit of honey, a squeeze of lemon, pinch of herbs de Provence, pinch of salt, pinch of pepper. The key to this vinaigrette is putting all the ingredients into a container and shaking it to death. Whisking it with a fork does not do the trick. You know what else I might do? I might add toasted pine nuts to the salad. I always like a little nutty bite.
The author of this recipe is the super talented cook Alex Hitz. M.Hitz has a perfect concept… Classic Southern cooking with a French twist. His food philosophy was embedded in him at a young age. Raised in a southern society family who entertained often, M. Hitz grew up watching his food savvy doyenne mother (who was raised in Paris) and the family cook, Dorothy, serve classic Southern fare. He, himself, was educated at the Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. Ideal foundations.
M.Hitz has a cookbook, of course, titled My Beverly Hills Kitchen. No joke, everyone needs this cookbook. How else would you know how to make Millionaires Meatloaf, Heirloom Tomato Pie, Summer Berry Pavlova, Dorothy’s Fried Chicken, Salmon Pot Pie, Bill Blass’ Maple Bacon and the perfect Hollandaise sauce, for God’s sake. You can purchase his book HERE.
Like Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) and Martha Stewart, celebrity chef Alex Hitz has quite an eye for interior design as well. Check out his house in the Hollywood Hills from House Beautiful Magazine…
Alex Hitz can cook, he can decorate, he can set a pretty table, he likes to monogram, and he likes to entertain. Doesn’t get better than that! Start with his tomato peach salad and go from there…
A tout á l’heure!