I say what we’ve been cooking instead of what I’ve been cooking, because with the new baby, Derek has been doing about as much cooking as I have, if not more. In the first few months he was mostly just making old standbys, but in the last week or two we’ve finally started to branch out and try some new recipes. I don’t have time to write full blog posts about each one, so I’ll write a short blurb here for each. Read the rest of this entry »
The summertime soup recipe is from Georgeanne Brennan’s “France: The Vegetarian Table.” Brennan says that tarragon gives this soup a surprise finish that is heightened by the crunch of toasted fennel seeds. Read the rest of this entry »
I had some chard and potatoes that needed to get eaten, and found this recipe in Georgeanne Brennan’s cookbook France: The Vegetarian Table. It looked pretty decadent (lots of butter plus cheese and a bit of heavy cream), but Derek liked how the picture looked and encouraged me to try it. Read the rest of this entry »
I was looking for a recipe that called for turnips, and came across this winter ragout in France: the Vegetarian Table by Georgeanne Brennan. It’s basically an oven-roasted stew full of big chunks of parnsips, turnips, rutabagas, and carrots. (I couldn’t find any rutabagas so I subbed in potatoes.) The stew also calls for ribbons of chard and caramelized shallots. At first glance I thought this recipe was for a French-style stew, but it’s seasoned with turmeric and raisins, and you’re supposed to serve it with yogurt and a mixture of dill, tarragon, mint, and chives. So there’s definitely a North African influence. Read the rest of this entry »
I was looking for my notes on vegetable broth and was surprised to discover that I’ve never written about it on my blog. There are a million blog posts about making vegetable broth, and I’m by no means an expert, but I decided to make a post to keep track of all the broth-related info that I find online. Read the rest of this entry »
I bought a big celery root to make Locro last week, but I only used a small fraction of it. I decided to use the rest of it to make another recipe out of The Vegetarian Table: France by Georgeann Brennan. The recipe is titled “celery root and potato puree”, and for some reason I thought it was going to be a soup. But it turned out with a consistency more like mashed potatoes. Read the rest of this entry »
Last fall Derek and I went to Metz for the day. (It’s an hour away by train, so it makes a nice day trip.) Saturday is their farmer’s market, and I searched every stand trying to find things that I can’t buy find in my local market. I bought a beautiful braid of garlic, a bag of harissa paste, lots of French cheeses, some fresh beans (whose name I couldn’t understand), and a bag of dried flageolet beans. I’ve never eaten flageolet beans before, or even seen them. Mine were small, pale-green, kidney-shaped beans. Georgeanne Brennan says they have an intense bean flavor that brings their particular character to a dish, they hold their shape when cooked, and they do not lose their integrity even when combined with other ingredients.
Inspired by our trip last week to Paris, I decided to make a French dinner on Friday night, using recipes from my new French cookbook (“The Vegetarian Table: France”). Read the rest of this entry »
Derek and I are going to spend a few days in Paris next week–just in time for his 30th birthday! In anticipation of the trip, I recently bought the cookbook France: The Vegetarian Table, by Georgeann Brennan. The Vegetarian Table is a series of cookbooks written by different authors, one per country. In addition to the France cookbook, there is a cookbook for American, Japan, Indian, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, and North Africa. (When I lived in the co-op in college we had the Japan cookbook and I made excellent pickled ginger using their recipe._ One thing that I really like about the French cookbook is that it offers recipes using produce appropriate to every season. Mediterranean cookbooks so often rely almost entirely on vegetables that are local here only in the summer–peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, etc. But Brennan includes recipes that uses Spring vegetables, and ones that use vegetables that are available in the winter. Here in Saarbruecken we’re just starting to see the first of the Spring vegetables, but I’ve been stuffed up lately, and so I was craving hot soup rather than fresh Spring vegetables. I decided to try one of the winter recipes instead.
This recipe is from the cookbook France: The Vegetarian Table, by Georgeanne Brennan. She also suggests using leeks, celery hearts, belgian endive, asparagus, or beets instead of fennel, and garnishing with an herb like tarragon, chervil, chives, or parsley.
4 medium-sized fennel bulbs
3/4 cup mustard vinaigrette or shallot vinaigreete
1 ounce asiago or other hard, aged cheese, shaved into paper thin slices with a knife or vegetable peeler
1 tsp. minced fresh chervil
Trim the fennel bulbs, discarding any tough or discolored outer leaves and cutting away and stalks and feathery tops. Cut the bulbs, from the top through the stem end, into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrance the slices on a steamer rack over boiling water, cover, and steam untnil tender when pierced with the tines of a fork, about 10 minutes. Remove the fennel slices to a bowl.
Mustard Vinaigrette (makes 1 cup):
3/4 cup cold-pressed olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
Pour 3/4 cup of the dressing over the warm fennel, gently turning all the slices to make sure they are all evenly coated. Cover and let stand for 15 to 30 minutes before serving.
Top with the cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.
My notes: well, I made a very pared down version of this recipe. I didn’t use the cheese or fresh herbs. I did, however, throw in some carrots with my fennel. Wow. I always forget how tasty steamed vegetables are. I could have just eaten them plain. But I made the vinaigrette. It tasted like oil to me. I doubled the vinegar and mustard and it was better, but still very oily. Could there be something wrong with my vinegar that I needed so much more, or is it just a preferences thing? I enjoyed the vegetables with the vinaigrette, but I didn’t need the full amount called for. If I make it again I will add even more mustard and vinegar to the vinaigrette, and using only about 1/2 to 3/4 as much dressing as called for. But I definitely like the idea of steamed fennel with vinaigrette. The fennel had such a decadent mouthfeel to it, and a mild but very distinctive flavor.
This is a nice recipe for late spring, when some of the early vegetables like fennel, beets, and asparagus are just starting to be available.
I’ve started trying recipes with celery root (also called celeriac) recently, but this is the first time I’ve eaten it raw. This recipe is from the cookbook France: the Vegetarian Table, by Georgeanne Brennan.
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. ground turmeric
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs. minced fresh parsley
1 large celery root (about 1 pound), peeled
In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the lemon juice, cumin, turmeric, salt, pepper, and parsley. Set aside.
Finely julienne the celery root. The slices should be no more than 1/16 of an inch thick, if possible.
Add the celery root to the lemon juice mixture and toss to coat well. Serve at once.
Although this dressing has no oil and little salt, I thought it was pretty tasty. There was perhaps a bit too much lemon juice, though. This makes 6 small side servings, of a 1/2 cup each.
Serving Size: 1/2 cup, 1/6 of recipe
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