No summertime menu is complete without tomatoes. Tomatoes are a must have. Even with the smallest of gardens, you can grow at least one heirloom variety – if you are not blessed with a green thumb, not to worry, your local market most likely will carry more than enough to keep you stocked for the season. And to bring out the best in these gems of the garden – fresh herbs aplenty!
One of my top three entertaining tips is to plant an herb garden that provides you with at least a few of your favorites – either to use last minute to brighten a recipe or to inspire you to create a new combination of flavors on a Wednesday night when a friend suddenly stops over for a quick drink. Herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme and parsley that are relatively easy to grow, even in limited spaces, bring amazing freshness to classic recipes like Tomatoes Provençale – and make you look like a superstar lifestyle maven!
My other top entertaining tips? Use recipes that save you time and set a pretty table! If you have my book – An Appealing Plan – or follow any of my social media accounts, you know I am all about outdoor entertaining, easy recipes and setting a gorgeous table, so I was floored when I recently came across the Tomato Cocotte from Staub which allowed me to have all three in one chic vessel! It’s the perfect container to cook and serve your farmers market inspired recipes. In fact, I was easily able to cook my Lemon + Baby Spinach Israeli Couscous and Tomatoes Provençale at one time, bring it from the oven to the table while keeping the food warm and also add that special piece to engage my guests in conversation while I was finishing up the remainder of the meal preparation.