Most typically, the tomato coulis is spread out on a plate, beneath the fish, meats, or vegetables
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced, and chopped
leaves from 1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1. Place the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat, add the garlic and shallots, and cook for 5 minutes. (Do not brown.)
2. Add the tomatoes, thyme, and bay leaf, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from heat, and discard the bay leaf. Allow sauce to cool for 5 minutes or so. Purée thoroughly in food processor. Place coulis in a fine strainer, and let excess liquid drip through. (What remains in the strainer is the coulis. If it is too thick, place it in a bowl and whisk enough of the drained liquid into it to reach the desired consistency.) Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Coulis is an old french word with changing meanings. A long time ago, it referred to meat juices rendered by the cooking process. Then, it became a general word for sauce. Later, it described liquid purées made from meats and vegetables. In the eighties, the word was re-invented again, when it became very trendy on french restaurant menus in france and in the United States; this time, however, it was used to denote any thick purée. Tomato coulis was perhaps the most frequently used coulis. It can be served warm or at room temperature as a lovely, light sauce for fish, meats, and vegetables. Most typically, the tomato coulis is spread out on a plate, beneath the fish, meats, or vegetables. Here's a delicious version. Makes about 1 1/2 cups