Saturday 11 August
Even though it was for lunch, we just had to show a picture of the lovely Purple Cherokee (right) and Rutgers (left) tomatoes from the garden: so flavorful, so juicy.
Holt had been dreaming about a stew of scallops and squid (both in bags in our freezer) in tomato broth (lots of tomatoes now coming in from the garden). He based his approach on the Cuisine of the Sun recipe for Suppions à la Nicoise.
So lots of chopped onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil, then half a bulb of fennel, sliced (the other half having gone into the napa sausages), then about half a package of thawed squid rings. Salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of saffron. Then lots of chopped tomatoes (black plums, which are rather small and would have benefited from being skinned). Wine to wet. We let this cook for 40 min. until the squids got tender, then tossed in a pound of little frozen scallops. The only trick is to get them off the heat after they're cooked but while they're still tender and not reduced to nubbins (or even pencil erasers). The result is light and fragrant and not too tomato-y.
Pernod would have been the best drink of the evening to follow this up, but we made do with an old, old, old bottle of arak, deeded to us by any number of Turkish friends/archaeologists/Turkish-archaeologist-friends.