Friday, October 18, 2013

The Edible Olive Tree


Remember the recipe of herbed roasted red peppers I posted about some time ago?  I am still not prepared to let the summer go (and temperatures hovering around 23C/73F during the day make it easy to pretend that summer is still going strong - never mind that I hve to sweep fallen leaves every morning and that we light the fireplace every evening...
So for an evening with friends I prepared those peppers again and paired them with "caviar d'aubergine" - roasted eggplant mixed together with some very fresh goat cheese, a clove or two of minced garlic, pepper, salt and a squirt of lemon juice. And decorated like the gnarled trunk of an old olive tree and its cloud of silvery leaves. A little hommage to the celebrated Provence olive trees that give us "the gold of Provence" - our wonderful olive oil.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Pretty little Raspberry Muffins

As much as I like to cook I somehow don't much care about baking. But sometimes, very rarely, I find a recipe that just looks so pretty and easy I give it a try. This one I found in one of the little cooking magazines you find at all the French supermarket tills. "Mini cakes Coco-Framboises" - little coconut and raspberry cakes which for want of powdered coconut in my pantry turned into little hazelnut and raspberry bite sized muffins (I didn't have little cakes forms either....)

We have a stall at Vaison's Tuesday market that sells the very best fresh raspberries, so as long as they are still available I will definitely do these again. And I will stick to powdered hazelnut because I think that coconut and raspberries are not all that great a combination.

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Mix 150gr soft, non salted butter with 100 gr powdered sugar and 15 gr vanille sugar. Add 3 eggs (mix in one by one) and 100 gr flour, 15 gr baking powder and 100 gr powdered hazelnuts. Mix well and spoon into little paper cups. Push one raspberry into each cup then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The last Figs of Summer

No more mellons, no more peaches - instead I found butternut squash and chanterelles at the market in Malaucène this morning. The wine harvest has started and I have just plucked the last figs off my tree. It's official: summer is over even though the temperatures suggest otherwise.
So I wanted to have one last fig tart and found a recipe for a savory one. To put it in a nutshell: this is a triple YUM!! A keeper!!
Recipe found in "Tartes de grand-mère salées et sucrées", editions ESI, Paris 2010

All you need is a roll of puff pastry, 130 gr fresh goat cheese, about half a kilo of figs, two hefty pinches of Herbes de Provence, some freshly ground black pepper, a generous handful of pine nuts, a sprinkle if olive oil and some serioulsy good parma or serrano ham.
Unroll the pastry and fit into a tart dish. Spread the fresh goat cheese on the bottom of the tart, place the halved figs on top, sprinkle with Herbes de Provence, a few rounds of the pepper mill and the pine nuts. Dribble a few drops of olive oil onto the figs and bake at 200C/400F for 30 minutes. Let cool down a bit and arrange very finely sliced ham on top. Even better with a nice cool glass of Rosé.