A friend of mine sent me the link to website of Viviane Bauquet Farre called Food & Style. Her use of fresh ingredients is wonderful. I couldn’t help but drool over the beautiful pictures of food and the recipes so I decided to give her recipes for the fresh tomato vinaigrette and Boston lettuce with corn and grilled zucchini skewers a try since I had all the wonderful summer veggies that the recipe called for already in the kitchen.
Both recipes turned out simple to make (fast and easy while looking so sophisticated is always awesome when cooking), inexpensive and were very tasty. I did tweak them both a little which I felt added a little extra flavor and balance. The tweaks I had to make to the Fresh Tomato Vinaigrette might have been because my tomatoes were a little more on the large side than the medium, so I think that if you make this recipe, the amounts might need a little adjusting based on that fact. I added 3 cloves of finely minced garlic (I’m sure that you have figured out by now, I love to use garlic!), about 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar (I think I’m going to use rice wine next time) and closer to 1/2 teaspoon of salt. I also added between 1/4 and a 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. You might think using the box grater (cheese grater for those that don’t know what a box grater is) seems strange but it worked beautifully for making the tomatoes perfect in the vinaigrette. I also made the vinaigrette about an hour ahead of time to give the flavors time to meld which I think is a must because the flavors after the hour were so awesome compared to just made.
For the Boston lettuce with corn and grilled zucchini skewers I didn’t use the skewers because I made this recipe on Labor Day and getting to the grills was a nightmare so I broiled the zucchini on a baking sheet until it charred (almost as good as grilling). I just chopped it into bite size pieces, sprinkled with salt and pepper and then tossed it in olive oil before placing it in the oven. I did the same with the corn to give it a “grilled” flavor as well. I couldn’t find any Boston lettuce so I used green leaf lettuce, mixed in about a 1/2 cup of fresh chopped basil and added a sprinkle of feta cheese along with the vinaigrette to the salad to finish it off. I paired the salad with marinated, grilled shrimp, which I will share the recipe for later this week.
The flavors of the salad with the tomato vinaigrette were fabulous. I will make both of these recipes again. The salty, creaminess of the feta cheese brought together the flavors of the zucchini, corn and the tomato of the vinaigrette. I’m thinking of adding grilled eggplant as well next time. I’m also going to add fresh basil to the vinaigrette, it tasted so good in the salad, I’m sure it will go nicely. My husband couldn’t say enough great things about the yumminess of the food and how his taste buds were loving it. Thanks Viniane for sharing your wonderful recipes. Below are Viniane’s recipes and links to her website for extra tips and pictures on preparing this.
Disclaimer: I am not being paid or given anything for this review. I just respect and enjoy the recipes of this Chef.
Active time: 30 minutes
2 ears fresh corn
2 baby zucchinis (8″long)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea slat
1 large Boston lettuce (1 lb.)- thoroughly rinsed, spun dry, leaves torn in 2″ pieces
12- 5″ long bamboo skewers
- Step 1: Grill the corn as per this recipe, or shuck the ears and boil the cobs in a large pot of salted water for 2 minutes. When the corn is cool enough to handle, slice the kernels off the cob with a serrated knife. Set aside.
- Step 2: Trim both ends of the zucchinis, quarter each zucchini lengthwise and cut in 1/2” pieces. Place the pieces in a large bowl. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt. Toss well with your hands until the pieces are well coated with the oil. Thread 4 pieces on a bamboo skewer. Repeat until all the pieces have been used. You should have 12 skewers.
- Step 3: Pre-heat gas or electric grill or griddle to high heat. Grill the zucchini until charred. Remove from grill or griddle and place on a tray to cool slightly.
- Step 4: Place the salad pieces in a large bowl. Toss with two-thirds of the vinaigrette. Spoon the salad in bowls. Sprinkle with the corn kernels. Top each salad with 3 grilled zucchini skewers. Serve with the balance of the vinaigrette on the side to drizzle on top of the grilled zucchini.
active time: 15 min
2 medium, ripe tomatoes (8 oz) (227gr) – quartered and seeded
1 shallot – skinned and finely chopped (1/4 cup)
1 garlic clove – skinned and crushed (use microplane grater)
1 1/2 tablespoons white balsamic or red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon sea salt to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
- Step 1: Place a box grater in a medium bowl. Coarsely grate the tomato slices cut-side against the grater. Grate each slice all the way down to the skins. Discard the skins.
- Step 2: Add the balance of the ingredients to the grated tomatoes. Whisk until well blended and serve.
- Cook’s note: The vinaigrette can be refrigerated for up to 2 days, but it’s best eaten when it’s just made.