Buckwheat pancakes with grated carrot
Carrots, cider vinegar, olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper.
Finely grate carrots by hand, season with olive oil, a lot of cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. The constancy of the sauce is more like a remoulade than a vinaigrette. The effect of the vinegar, yeast and carrot is intense.
About 200g of buckwheat flour, Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, water, olive oil, salt, pepper.
Combine the flour and water to make a thick crepe batter, add salt and pepper. Dab little pieces of cheese over the surface of the pan, then cover with the batter. Bake in a hot oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
The Faggot’s Quick Spaghetti, Hans-Georg’s Recipe
500g of spaghetti, 3 tomatoes, 1 head of garlic, a bunch of basil, a cup of olive oil, parmesan, salt and pepper.
In a salad bowl, dice the tomatoes, thinly slice the garlic, add the basil leaves, salt, pepper.
When the spaghetti is almost cooked, bring the oil to a boil, until it starts to smell strange, then pour it over the other ingredients so that they sear without cooking. Mix it into the pasta and serve with parmesan cheese.
Unfatty velvety effect.
1 kilo can of peaches, pears or apricots in syrup, 4 whole eggs, a glass of milk, 2 heaping teaspoons of wheat flour, same amount of buckwheat flour.
Beat or mix the eggs with the milk and the syrup from the can. Add the fruit, cook it in the oven an hour at 180-200°.
A Perfect Summer Every time
Romaine Lettuce, Goat’s Cheese, and Melon
A firm and crunchy lettuce, ideally Romaine, 3 half-aged goat’s cheeses, a melon (the sweeter the better!), olive oil vinaigrette.
Right before serving, place the slices of melon and goats cheese over the seasoned and tossed salad. It’s perfect.
Oak Leaf Lettuce and Figs
A big head of oak leaf lettuce, 6 ripe figs, vinaigrette.
Cut the figs in big slices and lay them over the seasoned salad.
Lukewarm Zucchini Mousseline
2-3 zucchinis per person, not too large, very firm, 3-4 bay leaves, 1 egg, olive oil, a little spoonful of mustard, salt and pepper.
Don’t peel the zucchinis, steam them with the bay leaves. Make a mayonnaise with the egg yolk, the mustard and the oil. At the last moment delicately fold in the egg white, which has been beaten into very stiff peaks. Serve the zucchini hot covered with mousseline. It’s astonishingly good, it tastes like asparagus!
Wild Strawberry and Peaches with Mint Tea:
3 cartons of wild strawberries, 2 or 3 peaches, 1 big bunch of fresh mint, 2 teaspoons of green tea, ½ liter of boiling water, a dozen sugar cubes.
Let the tea leaves, mint and sugar infuse in in the boiling water for 10 minutes, then strain it out and pour the hot tea over the peaches sliced in quarters and the wild strawberries. Let cool.
“Surf and Turf” Bohémienne
Less than a kilo of little round light-green eggplants, more than a kilo of ripe tomatoes, a few cloves of garlic, fresh cilantro, green peppercorns, ideally fresh, olive oil. Salt.
In the wok, quickly brown the garlic cut into slivers in a good amount of oil, then throw in the eggplant in quarters or slices, stir frequently, add a little water if necessary. When the eggplants have changed color, add the chopped tomatoes, the green peppercorns and salt. Toward the end of cooking which takes a little less than an hour, add the coarsely chopped cilantro.
It’s as good served hot as cold and can be accompanied by toasted bread, rice, bulgur, spelt, poached eggs, steamed potatoes…
Regular short grain rice, 1 red pepper, 2 to 3 onions, a few mushrooms, 2 unripe tomatoes, a few snow peas or string beans, a few leaves of Chinese cabbage or green cabbage, a few fresh garlic stalks if it’s in season, 3 to 4 kaffir lime leaves, Asian basil (natural anisette flavor), bergamot leaves, vegetable oil, soy sauce, 3 eggs, a small piece of tofu.
Cook the rice: 10 minutes in boiling water, strain it quickly but leave a little water at the bottom of the pan and cook 10 more minutes covered. Cut the tofu into little dice and quickly panfry on both sides in a little oil. Make a very dry omelet and season with soy sauce.
Cut the vegetables coarsely and throw them in the hot oil. Cook quickly on high flame, stirring often. The bergamot leaves are put in at the beginning, the basil near the end, and the soy sauce for saltiness.
When the veggies are cooked through but still firm, add some rice, followed by the tofu, the crumbled omelet, toss it all together for a few more moments.
Pickled ginger works well as a condiment.
Cashew Nuts and Mushrooms
500-800g of button mushrooms, 3-4 onions, 150-200g of unsalted cashews, a bunch of cilantro, soy sauce.
Start by cooking the onions in the wok with a little olive oil, at a very high temperature, stirring constantly and adding a little water when necessary, until they’re golden brown. Then throw in the mushrooms cut into quarters, before the end of cooking, add the cashews and the cilantro, and salt with soy sauce.
You can serve with red rice from Camargue or sticky rice (a special rice that has to be soaked for hours and then steamed for 15 minutes (a couscous pot will do the trick).
Soy Cream and Crisped Lemon
Mix ½ liter of non-dairy soy, rice, or oat milk with 30 g of corn starch, 75g of powdered sugar and the zest of a kaffir lime, thicken on the stove.
Serve with “poor man’s biscuits”: flour, baking powder, water, anise grains, egg whites, sugar.
Around the Corner from Maghreb
5 red bell peppers, 4 ripe tomatoes, 4 cloves of garlic, a half a teaspoon of cumin and mild red pepper, a bunch of fresh cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast the peppers over the flame or on the grill until the skin is charred. Peel them under the sink, being careful to remove all the seeds. Cut them into thin strips. Simmer over low heat in a covered crockpot with the sliced tomatoes, garlic, cumin, pepper, cilantro, oil, salt and pepper for just under an hour. Eat cold or lukewarm. If there are leftovers it makes a wonderful sauce for pasta or rice.
2 kilos ripe tomatoes and a big bunch of mint for the coulis. A kilo of onions, 150 g raisins, a few walnuts, 125 g of butter, a little olive oil, 500 g of couscous, salt, pepper.
The coulis: simply stew the tomatoes with the mint and put the mixture through a vegetable press.
The onions: cut them into slices and slowly simmer with a little oil, salt and pepper.
Prepare the couscous just before serving. Boil water – a third more water than couscous (the raisins will absorb water too) with the butter, raisins, salt and pepper. Pour this liquid over the couscous in a pre-heated salad bowl, fluff up the couscous, mixing energetically to separate the grains. Repeat the operation a few minutes later. Add the walnuts. Serve the couscous very hot with the coulis and the onions. Let guests mix it up however they like.
5 eggs, just under a liter of milk, 18 sugar cubes, a few saffron threads.
Make a nicely golden brown caramel with the sugar and a little water, pour the caramel onto the bottom of a baking dish. Pour the milk into the pan and scrape up what remains of the caramel. Beat the eggs, gradually adding the milk and spread the frothy mixture over the caramel. Lay the saffron on top. Cook for a half hour at 180 degrees. Pour the caramel over the semi-sweet flan to serve.
Lukewarm Zucchini mousseline
Very simple and astonishingly delicious, tastes like asparagus!
2-3 zucchinis per person, not too large, firm, a few bay leaves, an egg, olive oil, a little spoonful of mustard, salt and pepper.
Steam the unpeeled zucchinis with the bay leaf until they’re just right. Make a mayonnaise with an egg yolk, a little mustard and olive oil. In a big bowl with a big spoon, make ample gestures, keeping the spoon on the sides of the bowl. It goes faster and is less risky. Delicately fold in the egg white beaten into stiff peaks. Serve the zucchini hot, covered with the mousseline.
The zucchini is steamed with a bunch of fresh rosemary, seasoned with sesame oil.
A variation on a national Cuban dish.
In Cuba one is served some variation of red-bean soup at every meal. Very red, almost black, which is used to moisten and flavor white rice which is too dry.
Instead of beans, which aren’t very easy to digest, use beluga lentils, so called because they resemble caviar. Cook them with a few vegetable bouillon cubes which will give them a little fat and flavor. Don’t hesitate to overcook so that the broth is unctuous, but stop before the mushy consistency of Indian dal. Then, as is customary in Cuban, let diners serve themselves the rice and beluga lentils. Add a rare commodity in Cuba: a little olive oil.
Jacqueline’s Baked Apples
Jacqueline, a name that recalls happy days spent in the valley of Apt, the paintings of Valentine, and the old Blanc brand of candied fruits.
A few years ago, my mother’s childhood friend Jacqueline, shortly before she lost her faculties, had insisted one day on honoring me with a meal of truffles, which I adore: a warm truffle and potato salad and an omelet. But instead of the odor of truffles I was greeted by the extraordinary smell of baked apples and, mysteriously, strawberry. It was the desert, whose efficient simplicity pleased me so much that I reproduced it in Paris a dozen times in the following months with great success, except when I served it for the third time to the same guests!
It’s very simple, it consists of cutting apples in half lengthwise, setting them face down in a baking dish and pouring strawberry syrup over them – the most artificial you can find. The cooking time is faster than with whole apples. The result is unexpected, the apples become pink and very redolent. And moreover, under their spell, you don’t even bother to spit out the seeds and skins!
A Terrace in the Luberon
Oak-Leaf Lettuce and Figs
Place seasoned and tossed lettuce over ripe figs cut into thick slices. The flavors are on par with the beautiful colors!
A marvel of simplicity from my mother’s kitchen, without the revolting combination of egg and milk with the onion.
A thinly rolled piecrust – thinner than the store-bought kind, onions, olive oil, salt, pepper.
Peel a heap of onions under the faucet. Cut them into slices and fill the pie crust 2-3 cm high. Every nook and cranny must be filled, including the sides. Add salt and pepper, and sprinkle generously with olive oil. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil and cook for about 45 minutes at 200 to 220 degrees. Remove the foil and finish cooking at a slightly lower temperature for another 20 minutes, just long enough for the crust to dry out and the onion to brown.
It’s a real delight. Serve with an aperitif or as an appetizer with a green salad.
Throw together a pie crust…
250g flour, a cup of olive oil, a tablespoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, water.
Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Pour the oil and water over the mixture and stir as vigorously as possible. Don’t be afraid to adjust the flour or water to get the right consistency. Knead the dough for several moments and roll out.
Catherine’s Raw-Cooked Fruit Salad
1/2-1 kg cherries, 4 peaches, 1/2 melon, 1 or 2 kiwis, granulated sugar.
Cook the cherries with a little sugar and a splash of water rapidly, so that they remain firm. Carefully pit them so as to keep them whole. When they’ve cooled mix them with the rest of the thinly sliced fruit.
A glass of quinoa and spelt couscous, a glass of water, lemon olive oil, sugar, homegrown strawberries, or else a papaya and two limes.
Add couscous to boiling water, then lower the flame and simmer for a few minutes with the oil and sugar. Serve with strawberries, or papaya which has macerated in lemon juice and sugar.
A smart vegetarian always brings along a little survival kit on a trip! A few ingredients that will allow them to fix up a restaurant dish, or improvise a meal in a hotel room (with the tea kettle as the only cooking instrument). Examples: a bottle of olive oil, a pack of couscous, instant bulgur, a few cubes of vegetable bullion, Miso, nutritional yeast, laughing cow cheese, olives, cream of chestnut, etc.
A miso cube per person in a bowl of warm water and 3 or 4 spoons of nutritional yeast.
Hotel Room Couscous
Fluff up the couscous with a single volume of boiling water, let it cool and serve it with finely diced raw veggies that you may have found: cucumber, onion, pepper, radishes, a few olives, oil and lemon juice.
A ripe mango, a papaya with lime, yogurt with chestnut cream…
To Make Children Grow
With meteorological regularity, as far back as I can remember, two or three times a year, the house would fill with the smells of redolent “chorba,” a honeyed smell of apricots and fresh mint.
I would block out the smells of meat and close my eyes to the scraps of lamb among the apricots. I would add this unctuous sauce to pasta without thinking much about it.
One day it occurred to me that the spirit of the recipe wasn’t meaty at all, that it had more to do with the meeting of fresh mint, dried apricots and onions.
2 kg of onions, as many tomatoes, 250g dried apricots, a big bunch of fresh mint, olive oil, pepper, salt, and pasta if you like.
Sauté the onions in a little olive oil for as long as possible, then add the tomatoes, apricots, mint, salt and pepper and cook for a long time until the tomatoes and apricots are unrecognizable.
At the last minute add some pasta, like tagliatelle.
A pie crust, 4 eggs, a lot of parsley, a container of cottage cheese.
Fill the pie crust with a mixture of chopped parsley (the frozen kind works), eggs and cheese, salt, pepper. Bake in a medium oven, serve while still puffy.
The secret is to simmer the dish on very low heat in a Dutch oven or on the stovetop – it can take as long as two hours. A liter of whole milk and a small glass of short grain rice (about 140g), with 4 to 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar, a vanilla bean or a half grated Tonka nut.
Serve the rice creamy and lukewarm, with seasonal fruit or a rhubarb compote.
Brousse Cheese and Quince Jelly
Brousse is a slightly salty French white cheese and it goes marvelously with quince jelly.
To Keep Little Children Small
4 to 5 zucchinis, 2 onions, a potato, a little crème fraiche (just this once) salt, pepper.
Coarsely chop the vegetables and boil. Puree them in a food processor, add a little cream at the end in each bowl.
Flan with Tomato Coulis and Mint
On a lazy afternoon during peak tomato season, make a few liters of coulis, it stands up well to freezing and can be served in serval ways.
Cook the ripe tomatoes with a lot of fresh mint and at the end put it through a food mill, which is the best way to keep out the skins, stems and leaves.
Beat together 5 eggs with an egg beater and stir in ½ liter of the coulis and ¼ liter of the milk, add salt and pepper, bake at 180 degrees for 45 minutes, or better yet cook in a bain marie.
Cream Puffs with Raspberries
I detest the way people rave about the pastries in Paris shop windows, which are nothing more than sophisticated slabs of fat. The richest desert I can imagine is the cream puff! I like the honesty of the whipped cream and puff pastry.
Mady’s Recipe: 125g of water, 50g butter, 75g of flour, a pinch of salt, a cube of sugar, 3 eggs, granulated sugar.
Bring the water and butter to a boil with the sugar and salt. Dump in the flour and mix vigorously. After two minutes, take the pot off the fire, wait a moment and incorporate the eggs, one after another.
Make little heaps of batter on a buttered cookie sheet, sprinkle each puff with a few grains of sugar, cook in a very hot oven, about 250° for a dozen minutes. Mady recommended keeping the puffs in the warm oven to prevent them from collapsing. It doesn’t work every time!
Beat 250 cl of heavy cream (the long-life kind won’t work) for a minute with an electric egg beater, and sweeten with the confectionary sugar.
Cream puffs, whipped cream and raspberries are hard to beat – except by adding a little vanilla ice cream!
A Comforting Winter Supper
Just over a liter of whole milk, two big bunches of fresh cilantro, 3 medium-sized potatoes, salt, pepper.
Cut the potatoes into thin matchsticks and cook in the milk seasoned with salt, pepper and cilantro for about an hour, depending on how high the flame is. If the soup starts to stick, add a little water. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture is thick and creamy. Fish out any big cilantro stems with a fork.
Lentil Risotto with Fennel
250 g of green lentils, a few young fennel bulbs, pitted green olives, olive oil, water, salt, pepper.
Simmer the lentils for a few minutes in olive oil as though you were making a rice pilaf. Throw in a little water, then add the fennel bulbs cut into quarters, or smaller depending on their size. Cover and let them steam in the liquid, adding water when necessary. Add the olives and salt and pepper about halfway through cooking time.
Lentils are a great alternative to potatoes, corn and even rice. Finally a legume that doesn’t cause flatulence!
Mady’s Apple Tart
A pie pan, 5-6 golden delicious apples, powdered sugar.
Roll out the pie crust, place the thinly sliced apples on top and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Cook ½ hour at a high temperature until the apples are slightly caramelized.
Throw together a pie crust…
250g flour, a cup of olive oil, a tablespoon baking powder, a pinch of salt, water.
Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Pour the oil and water over the mixture and stir as quickly as possible. Don’t be afraid to adjust the flour or water to get the right consistency. Knead the dough for several moments and roll out.
After School Snacks
Garlic broth with Mini Grilled Cheese
1 liter – 1.5 liters of water, 1 to 2 heads of garlic, 1/2 baguette, olive oil, a branch of sage, grated gruyere, mustard, salt, pepper.
First bring to a boil and then simmer the slivered garlic in the water with the salt and pepper. Add the sage 4 to 5 minutes before the end of cooking.
Slather slices of the bread with mustard and cover with gruyere. Cook the open-faced sandwiches 8 minutes in a hot oven. Place the grilled cheese sandwich in the bowl of broth just before eating it.
Andean Scalloped Potatoes With Milk and Cilantro
Variation of the Indian soup, a simple but highly effective coupling.
1 liter of milk, potatoes, bunch of cilantro, salt, pepper.
In a gratin dish: pour the milk over the diced potato and fresh cilantro, add the salt and pepper. Bake as long as necessary.
Sweet Potato Endive Boats with Cilantro
A light appetizer or hearty hors d’oeuvre. Cook the sweet potatoes in water and mash until smooth. Add a healthy dose of chopped cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper – and fill the endive leaves with it.
Cherry or Chestnut Cream Jelly Roll
This is the most basic of cakes, the famous jelly roll from the 60s, which appeared with the first electric egg beaters. My mother would throw this together as a snack.
3 whole eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 ½ cups sifted flour, 1 tsp baking powder, grated zest of one lemon, ½ cup butter.
Cream the eggs and sugar, add the lemon, flour and baking soda and beat vigorously. Bake in a buttered rectangular pan at 180 degrees for about fifteen minutes.
Loosen cake from sides of pan and turn upside down on a towel. Roll cake and towel up together, and wait a few seconds – long enough to give it its shape. Unroll cake and remove towel, cover with jam and gently roll back up.
If the cake breaks it’s overcooked – you’ll get it right next time!
Lulu’s Cherry Preserve
A little less sugar than fruit, about 4/5ths of the weight, juice of one lemon per kilo of fruit.
Pit the cherries if possible. Cook on a high flame in a copper kettle. Boil for 20 minutes and then turn off the heat. Let the mixture cool for 2 hours and begin the same operation twice more for a total of 60 minutes cooking time and 4 hours of rest. It’s very important to respect this cooling time, it’s what keeps the cherries firm and a little candied. If necessary, remove a ladle or two of syrup at the end to thicken.
They always say: “I always hated beets… until now.”
Without the right mandolin, don’t bother. The main thing is to get paper-thin shavings. The seasoning is a simple rémoulade that is drizzled over the shavings – rather than mixed in – just before serving. It is made with a lot of mustard, a little cider vinegar, nutritional yeast, oil – not necessarily olive oil, you could use colza for variation and to get your dose of omega 3.
3/4 of a medium-sized onion per person, olive oil, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
Peel the onions and pack them tightly into a baking pan, sprinkle with oil, salt, pepper, and a few bay leaves. Cook like you would the three vegetables above: 45 minutes under foil, then the same amount of time uncovered, until they caramelize a little.
You’ll never tire of these tender caramelized hearts, everyone loves them. With wild rice they’re divine.
2-3 pumpkin quarters, a handful of short-grain rice, 1 liter of milk, a little butter, a piece of gruyere, salt and pepper.
Dice the pumpkin and line the bottom of the baking dish with it. Spread the rice on top, pour in the milk, salt and pepper. Add dabs of butter and the gruyere. Cook on medium heat for about an hour. Take it out at the ideal stage when the rice is cooked and the pieces of pumpkin are still whole and glistening.
Baby-Flesh Baked Apples
Two large apples per person
Simply bake them in water, all day long, for 8 to 10 hours, in a 70-80° oven. The water shouldn’t boil, the inside remains intact. The apple remains firm and melts in your mouth.
In a Playful Mood
Lettuce Mimosa with Walnuts
When your only supplies come from the tiny grocer in the deserted countryside, after 8 o’clock, this unspeakably simple appetizer comes as a great surprise!
Two, three, or four heads of lettuce, they will be soft, only keep the hearts, 4 or 5 eggs, shelled walnuts, oil, mustard.
Hard boil the eggs, shell them. Season the salad with a remoulade, mustard and oil, salt and pepper. Toss the salad then crumble the eggs into small slivers over it, and add a few walnuts! Basta!
Large Elbow Macaroni, 3 or 4 zucchinis, lemon, a 500 g can of chickpeas.
Simmer the diced zucchini in the olive oil with lemon juice and the finely grated lemon zest.
Cook the macaroni and add the chickpeas at the end of the cooking time.
Dress the pasta with the soft zucchini, and top it off with the parmesan cheese.
Pasta and chickpeas may seem redundant, but they’re not. They make a perfect pairing and the Italians know it.
Honey and Orange Flan
1 liter of milk, 5 eggs, lavender honey, two oranges
Beat the eggs and milk with a little honey. Place the orange slices on top, which will make pretty designs in the oven. Bake on medium heat, around 180°.
Rose Compote Without Roses
A few golden delicious apples, a kaffir lime, sugar.
Quarter the large apples and cook with sugar and lemon zest over low heat, first with a lid, then uncovered, long enough so that they change color, but not long enough to fall apart. You get a strange chemical reaction: the meeting of the apple and the kaffir lime gives off a rose smell.
The Last Week of June Revisited
Arugula and Endive Salad
In any proportion
A remarkable marriage of flavors. The taste of the endives disappears in an Assumption of the arugula!
Don’t chop the endives into rings. Instead, after trimming the base, slice them lengthwise. Avoid vinegar: olive oil, salt and pepper do the trick.
Simple and irresistible.
Sticky rice, buffalo mozzarella, zucchini, olive oil.
Remember that sticky rice is a specific variety. You can’t just overcook regular rice! Soak it for several hours in cold water, then steam it for about 15 minutes just before serving (a couscous steamer does the trick). Serve it up hot with zucchini you’ve also steamed, mozzarella, olive oil and sea salt.
Three Roasted Vegetables
This surprisingly simple recipe from my mother is light and yet refined.
4 or 5 zucchinis, and the same number of tomatoes and onions.
Slice the zucchinis lengthwise into thick matchsticks, and the tomatoes and onions into large rings. In a roasting pan, make a row of each by standing them on end: thus all the slivers are placed on the slice and you have to squeeze a little so that the construction doesn’t topple over and stands up to cooking. Add a dash of olive oil, a few bay leaves, salt and pepper, then cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil, making sure to fold it over the sides so the vegetables steam. Cook at 200° for 45 minutes with the foil, then another 45 minutes uncovered until the vegetables are dry and lightly caramelized.
Slightly Sweet Flan with Cardamom and Honey
5 eggs, a little less than 1 liter of milk, 12 sugar cubes, 3 tablespoons of honey.
The idea is to have an abundance of caramel that will slowly spread its sweetness during cooking.
With the sugar, honey and a little water, make a golden caramel and spread it over the bottom of an oven dish. Beat the eggs until frothy and then gradually whisk in the milk. Pour the mixture over the caramel and bake for a half hour at 180°. Spoon the caramel over the flan before serving, this produces an enjoyable sensation, like when you eat yogurt while holding a sugar cube between your teeth.
Exquisite Ginger Madeleines
2 or 3 fresh ginger roots, 100g butter, 100g powdered sugar, two eggs, wheat flour, yeast.
Peel and grate the ginger, mix it with the sugar and melted butter, add the eggs and baking soda and beat vigorously. Add the flour, sifting it for a smoother batter. If you don’t have a Madeleine mold, pour batter into little piles on a buttered cookie sheet. Bake at 180° for fifteen minutes.
One Day We’ll Be Happy Again
Lulu’s Provencal Tomatoes
Use 4 or 5 mid-sized tomatoes per person, a bunch of parsley, garlic, breadcrumbs, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Cut the tops off the tomatoes, taking off almost a third. Put them face down in a big baking pan with a little oil so they sweat: bake for about twenty minutes on medium-low heat, so that they don’t rupture. After that, discard the juices, and delicately return the tomatoes to the pan right side up. Keep them crowded in the pan. Cover each tomato with parsley and chopped garlic, salt and pepper, finish with a little cap of breadcrumbs and a dash of olive oil. Cook on low heat between one and a half and three hours until you get little chalices of slightly candied fruit. “Now those are tomates à la Provençale!” Lulu would say.
My Mother’s Tabbouleh
Not Lebanese – the tart kind with coarsely chopped parsley – nor the North African version with couscous and mint that you’ll find in school cafeterias!
3 bunches of flat parsley, 250g of pilpil (cracked wheat bulgur, medium rather than fine grain), a small glass of water, 3 lemons, 4 or 5 ripe tomatoes, a few fresh onions, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Prepare in the morning for that evening or the following day’s lunch. Chop the parsley coarsely with the onions and tomatoes, making sure to keep their juices. Squeeze 3 lemons and mix it all with 250g of pilpil. Add a cup of water, plenty of olive oil and a fair amount of salt because the lemon neutralizes the effects of the salt and pepper. Let it sit for a while, mixing several times. If you don’t wait long enough, the grain will stay too hard. If you wait too long it will become mealy. It’s hearty, cool, generous.
Orange Blossom Cream with Pine Nuts
1/2 liter of milk, 30g of corn starch, a tablespoon of orange blossom water, a handful of pine nuts, 75g of powdered sugar.
Mix the cold milk with the corn starch. Bring to the boil while stirring, cook a few more minutes. Serve very cold with wafer cookies.
Cream with Orange Flower Water, Served with Fresh Figs
1/2 liter of milk, 1/2 liter of water, 50g of semolina flour, 1 big spoonful of orange blossom water, a little sugar.
Mix all the ingredients except the semolina, which you pour into the boiling mixture. A few minutes after cooking, the mixture will appear too soupy. It won’t look like a desert, but in the fridge it sets after a few hours and it’s perfect with fresh figs.
Translation by David Pickering