Guest Post: How to Outsmart Your French Boyfriend’s Family
As promised, Mimi from French Kitchen in America is here today to give you a few tips on tomatoes and salads. Which, if you have read Blame It on Paris, you will know why that’s important. Plus, with all the chocolate and crêpes, I thought we could stand a light and refreshing bite today.
(If you want to know more about this basket, Mimi gives some more details on her own site today. And without further ado, I’m going to pass the blog today to Mimi.)
How to Outsmart Your French Boyfriend’s Family
You can’t write a book about falling in love with a Frenchman without writing about food, can you?
I love to read about France and I love to read about food.
Unfortunately, I can gain weight from reading about food. So I was very pleased that most of the food that finds its way into Laura Florand’s charming (and funny) “Blame it on Paris” is of the type that doesn’t usually lead to excess weight gain.
Salads, for example, and tomatoes. Unless you pile on croutons and dressing you generally don’t gain weight just eating salads. As for tomatoes, I have this theory that they actually help you lose weight. I think they speed up your metabolism and negate the high carbohydrate qualities of baguettes. (I am sure I read this somewhere.) I always eat my baguette with a tomato. Cancels out the carbs.
(Escargots make an appearance, too. They have to: They are what we Americans associate most with Paris, right? I mean besides the Eiffel Tour, Jim Morrison’s grave and being seduced by a French man.)
Now, I’m not going to give away anything about Laura’s book because I want you to read it. You will like the people in it, I promise.
Once you read “Blame it on Paris,” you will never look at tossing salads and cutting tomatoes in the same old way again. (Unless, like me, you are already married to someone who is only French when he gets behind the wheel of a car.)
How you toss a salad and cut a tomato could have an impact on the rest of your life. Or at least your love life, according to Laura’s French in-laws, anyway.
For the sake of argument, let’s say the French family you marry into (and every girl fantasizes about nabbing a Frenchman, right?) subscribes to the same ideas as Sébastien’s. If that is the case, how you toss a salad will crucial.
How you cut tomatoes will be important, too.
For the sake of romantic Francophile women everywhere, I have outsmarted the system.
My Salade de Soleil requires arranging, not tossing. And if you use grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes cut in half, you won’t have to worry about how you cut or how big you cut. Just — as they say — “eyeball it.”
(Cherry tomatoes are especially useful for use in kebobs, too, I might add. As I said, you’ve got to read the book to understand why this is critically important.)
Salade de Soleil for Two
12-14 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh lemon basil
3 cup cubed Provolone, Feta and Parmesan cheeses
Dash coarse sea salt
Dash herbes de Provence
One tablespoon olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Arrange (do not toss) tomatoes on two small plates or shallow bowls. Sprinkle minced or torn basil and cheese on top. Drizzle with olive oil (or your favorite vinaigrette) and sprinkle with salt and herbes.
For more recipes, including some very romantic recipes during the month of February, please visit me at French Kitchen in America.