Club 55 at Home
Capturing the essence of Saint-Tropez at home can be daunting. Not everyone can pull a cobalt-blue ocean, luxury yachts and a bevy of celebrities out of thin air.
The cuisine of Saint-Tropez is you’d expect – lavish crudités, healthy salads and large platters of sparkling seafood. Once a humble fishing village, Saint-Tropez has become a tourist hot spot and now caters to an elite crowd. While the atmosphere has certainly changed over time, the ocean still provides a beautiful bounty, satisfying the discerning palates of vacationers.
Most would agree that the ultimate Saint-Tropez experience lies amidst the white canopies and dense trees of Club 55. The club has been around for more than fifty years and celebrates all the region has to offer – extravagance, impeccable service and, for our purposes, delicious food. This issue of Cooling Your Jets features a menu inspired by the very one served at the illustrious beach club.
So, take a trip with us to one of the French Riviera’s most admired establishments. The best part? You don’t need a reservation.
Crudité is one of the most popular appetizers in France. Platters often include celery, carrot, bell pepper, broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus, and are served with a tart vinaigrette or creamy dip. Crudités are all about the presentation – so choose your nicest platter and feature a variety of seasonal vegetables.
8 to 10 servings
Bring a large pot of water to boil and add a generous amount of salt. Fill a large bowl with ice and water and add a palmful of salt to keep it from melting. Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from the boiling water and drop immediately into the ice bath to stop cooking. Remove and pat dry. Repeat with broccoli and asparagus. The remaining ingredients are kept raw.
For the curried yogurt dip, whisk all ingredients together until thoroughly blended. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.
Using a large platter, arrange the vegetables and serve with the dip on the side.
Carpaccio of any kind is a favorite at Club 55. Often served with a drizzle of truffle oil, it’s the epitome of decadence. Our version incorporates another favorite on their menu – nicoise olives.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes (plus 1 hour for freezing)
Rub one tablespoon of olive oil over beef and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sear the beef for about 2 minutes on each side. The goal is to achieve a deep brown crust on the outside, while the beef remains rare inside. It’s important not to overcook and the meat should only be in the pan for a total of 12 minutes.
Allow beef to cool then wrap tightly in plastic and freeze for 1 hour.
Slice the meat as thinly as possible. If the meat is too thick, place the slices between sheets of wax paper and pound with a mallet until paper-thin.
Combine all the tapenade ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Taste for seasoning. Serve a small dollop on the plate next to the sliced beef. Top with a few shavings of cheese.
Need we say more? Saint-Tropez is known for seafood, and what better way to celebrate it than with a grand platter. There is no incorrect way to compile this dish – just add your favorite seafood, cocktail sauce and lemon, and serve with a simple starch and vegetables.
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
To steam lobsters, place them in a large pot of boiling, salted water for about 6 minutes. Remove and let cool before cutting in half.
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add a generous amount of salt and bring to a boil and cook until tender. Remove from water and let cool. Slice into wedges for service. If desired, serve with a drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic. Cook for about 1 minute or until garlic turns golden. Add arugula and cook covered until leaves are wilted. Remove from pan and serve at room temperature.
For cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
The best way to serve this dish is on a platter filled with crushed ice. It keeps the seafood tasting fresh. Arrange the lobster, shrimp and mussels over the ice and scatter lemons on top. Serve the potatoes, arugula and cocktail sauce on the side.
Club 55 is known for understated desserts like sorbets, their famous strawberry tart or simply a bowl of fresh fruit sprinkled with sugar. They pride themselves on keeping things light – it is a beach club, after all.
Serves 6 (makes 6 cups)
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: depends on ice cream maker
Place sliced strawberries in a bowl and coat with sugar. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Add strawberries (with all the liquid they gave off), lemon juice and salt to a food processor and puree until smooth.
Transfer to ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.