Smooth or plump, rustic or fleshy, it embodies the cuisine of the south and the most cultivated vegetable in France.
By the editorial board
It enjoys the European climate. Brought from the Andes by Christopher Columbus in the 16th century, the “Golden Apple”, was no bigger than a cherry tomato. Nobody thought about eating it. In the middle of the 18th century, at last tomatoes found their way to the stove. And today, they are enjoyed red, yellow or green, raw or cooked, at any time of the day, as long as they are locally grown in fields outside!
Great for health
With 95% water and 15kcal for 100 grs. tomatoes are perfect for slimming. Rich in Vitamin C (18mg/100 grs. and in lycopene, high in antioxidants, they also contain minerals, notably potassium and oligo-elements. Fibres contained in its skin and seeds encourage intestinal transit.
Which to buy
Choose them firm, with smooth, stretched skin. In the mouth, the balance between pulp and juice, acid and sugar should be pleasurable.
How to keep them
Avoid keeping them in the fridge for any length of time as this alters their virtues. A week should be maximum. It is better to keep them in room temperature and even in a warm place if they should continue to ripen. When cooked they can be preserved, and when dried, conserved in oil.
At the Hostellerie de l’Abbaye de La Celle, in the Var, Benoît Witz quite simply just pan cooks them. At the Hotel de Mougins, Grégory Mirer makes an “eau de gaspacho aux saveurs du jardin”. In the Vieux-Nice, Benjamin Londos, at the Come chez moi, serves them in a salad with goji, fresh goat’s cheese and little croutons with rosemary. At Le Cagnard in the Haut-de-Cagnes, Stéphane Francolino concocts a “eau de tomate rafraîchissante source Evian et huile d’olive extra-vierge”. And in Eze, the new chef at the Relais&Châteaux La Chèvre d’Or**, Ronan Kervarrec, creates a “capunatina, légumes crus et cuits, champignons et artichauts épineux vinaigrés”.