3 handsome ripe tomatoes weighing about 100 g (3½ oz) each
1teaspoonstrong Dijon mustard
10 finely-chopped leaves of tarragon – preferably fresh, but you can substitute 15tarragon leaves preserved in white wine or vinegar
1tablespoon finely-chopped parsley
1teaspoon finely-chopped chervil
salt, cayenne pepper or tabasco
With cold fish, lobsters and other crustaceans, salads or vegetables.
Wipe the tomatoes and remove the stalks. Plunge them in boiling water for 2 seconds and refresh under cold running water: the skin can now be removed without difficulty. Cut each in half horizontally (that is, with the stalk side facing downwards). Press the halves in your hand to squeeze out seeds and juice. Take one of the tomatoes (two halves) and cut into 1 cm (½ inch) cubes. Salt lightly to extract still more moisture and set aside in a sieve. Chop the other tomatoes to a fine puree, salt them and put to drain in a fine-meshed sieve.
Pour the cream into a bowl and add the mustard, wine vinegar, cognac, salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper (enough to cover the tip of a knife). You can replace the cayenne with 2 or 3drops of tabasco. Whisk until the cream thickens, but do not let it separate. Add the purée of tomatoes (don’t add the diced tomatoes yet), and the chopped parsley, tarragon and chervil. Whisk thoroughly, then fold in the diced tomatoes with a wooden spatula. Add salt if necessary. Keep in a cold place and serve in a sauceboat.