Tomato season at Lucques is up there with Cassoulet night and Rib Fest in terms of annual buzzed-about events. And though it’s not actually an event but a period of time from mid-summer to early fall, tomato-craving diners begin calling in late spring to ask, “Are the heirlooms in yet?” They sound so desperate and excited as if they just can’t wait another day to eat a tomato. So even though I know the answer myself, I walk back to the kitchen to check with the chef. “A few more weeks!” he promises me. I know how they feel though. There’s nothing quite like a beautiful heirloom or cherry tomato at the peak of it’s season. Growing up in Vermont, cherry tomatoes always flourished in our summer garden. I would stand next to the plants, which matched my height at the time, and eat those sweet tomatoes right off of the vine as if I had just discovered my very own candy tree in our yard. I know that it isn’t summer yet and so those fat and luscious heirlooms and perfectly sweet cherry tomatoes are not here yet, but I couldn’t wait to test this recipe. After a winter of hearty braised meats, rich and delicious purées of squash, carrots and potatoes, this recipe of grilled-arctic char, arugula, and Suzanne’s “go-to quick and easy sauce for summer” cherry tomato anchovy brown butter is a wonderful alternative. I would suggest, of course, to make it when Suzanne would, in late summer. In testing and eating Suzanne’s recipes from her upcoming AOC cookbook, as well as from my years at Lucques, I am always impressed with the well-balanced variety of dishes on her menu and in her books. As you will find in the AOC cookbook, due out in October 2013, there are recipes for every mood and season.
Suzanne Goin’s AOC Cookbook Preview: Grilled Arctic Char with Arugula and Cherry Tomato-Anchovy Brown Butter