Genevieve Fay was my wonderful French grandmother. Cooking with her as I grew up was a special treat. This is one of the first things I learnt to make with her as a little girl and was always enchanted by its origins. The tomatoes are covered with a mixture which, she said, resembled mimosa. The lady who had given her the recipe told her that she was reminded of the mimosa she had seen in Japan and in fact called them ‘Tomates Japonaise’ or Japanese Tomatoes. We always called them tomates mimosas at home. They are excellent served with a green salad, roast chicken or with the racks of lamb.

Serves 8

16 small or 8 medium-sized, ripe yet firm tomatoes, each cut in half.
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
3 eggs – hardboiled
4 – 5 tablespoons Crème Fraiche
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives 
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley 
5-6 basil leaves – very finely sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour a little olive oil into a heavy-bottomed oven-proof pan and place the tomato halves face side up. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, sprinkle the Herbes de Provence and some salt and pepper over the top. Roast for 1 hour.
  3. Whilst the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the eggs. In a medium-sized bowl, mash the eggs with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the crème fraiche, the chives, parsley and basil. The mixture should look quite green. Add some black pepper, a pinch of salt and set aside.
  4. Just before serving, spoon a heaped teaspoon (in the case of the small tomatoes) or a tablespoon (in the case of the medium tomatoes) of the egg mixture on top of each tomato. Place the baking dish under the grill (broiler) until the egg mixture is golden brown. Serve these hot.


Serves 8 people

8 oz crème fraîche
1½ cups cream
2 lbs potatoes (russets or Yukon golds) — peeled, very thinly sliced on a mandolin
2 lbs celeriac (celery root) — peeled, very thinly sliced on a mandolin
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
3-4 green onions — finely sliced
4 oz Gruyère, cheddar or other hard cheese — grated

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the crème fraîche and cream. Add a good pinch of salt and 5-6 grinds black better and whisk once more.

Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix well. The easiest way to do this is with your hands. It’s a little messy, but fun!

Layer the well-coated potatoes and celeriac slices in a large gratin dish or individual gratins, slightly overlapping them.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the top of the gratin is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Pistachio Herb Pesto

Serves 8 people

Olive oil

1 cup parsley leaves

1/2 cup mint leaves

1/4 cup shelled pistachios

2 tablespoons chopped chives

zest and juice 1 lemon


1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the parsley, mint, pistachios and chives using short pulses. Add the lemon juice and zest. With the machine running, pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is fairly smooth. You will need at least 1/4 to 1/3 cup of olive oil. It should have the consistency of thick mayonnaise. 


Use in pasta dishes, as part of a vinaigrette, on roasted vegetables, in sandwiches and wraps.


Basil Shallot Pesto

Serves 8 people

3 large handfuls (about 3 cups) basil leaves - using different varieties of basil if possible

1 shallot - peeled and halved

1/2 cup pine nuts

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

7-8 grinds black pepper

pinch sea salt

Olive oil


1. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, chop the basil, shallot, pine nuts with the juice and zest of 1 lemon using short pulses. You may need to stop the machine and scrape down the sides to make sure everything is incorporated. Then, with the machine running, pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. You will need at least 1/2 to 2/3 cup of olive oil to get the right consistency.


NOTE: Use in pasta dishes, as part of a vinaigrette, on roasted vegetables, in sandwiches and wraps.




This is a quick and versatile dish that can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. Perfect for a weekday dinner. I like to serve this with some wilted spinach, sauteed greens or a herb filled green salad. Bon Appetit!

Serves 8 people

Olive oil
2 ½ lbs salmon filet
4 Meyer Lemons — thinly sliced
Large pinch of coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon Herbes de Poisson (or a mix of fennel, mustard and coriander seeds)

1.    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2.    Drizzle a little olive oil into an ovenproof baking dish that is large enough to hold the salmon in one layer. Place half thelemon slices in the bottom of the pan creating a bed for the salmon.  Place the salmon on top of the lemons. Drizzle a little olive oil over the salmon. Sprinkle the  Herbes de Poisson over the fish. Place the remaing lemon slices on top of the salmon.

3.    Bake for 15-18 minutes depending in the thickness of the salmon. If the filet is more than an inch thick it may take a minute or two longer.

6.    Serve with the pan juices and the sliced fruit. The Meyer lemon can be eaten in their entirety.  

Serve 8 people

Olive oil
4 leeks – rinsed, end trimmed and cut into ½-inch wide disks
1 lb snap peas – cut into ½-inch wide pieces on a bias
1 bunch chives – finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 fresh burrata
Lemon olive oil
Salt and black pepper

  1. Pour a little olive oil into a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the snap peas and cook for another 3-4 minutes. The snap peas should be al dente.
  2. Whisk together the lemon zest, juice and ¼ cup olive oil in a large salad bowl. Add a pinch of salt and 4-5 turn of black pepper and whish again. Place salad utensils over the vinaigrette. Place all of the vegetables on top of the utensils and sprinkle with the chives.
  3. Just before serving roughly tear the burrata and dot it over the salad. Toss to combine the ingredients and serve immediately.
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