The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): Spaghetti with Green Parsley Pesto

RECIPE: Spaghetti with Green Parsley Pesto
Spaghetti with Green Parsley Pesto

Spaghetti with Green Parsley Pesto

There are funky pestos out there, pestos where basil isn’t the star. Arugula pesto. Spinach pesto. I’ve even made a tarragon pesto. But I’ve never seen a pesto that has put parsley at center stage, and really celebrated what parsley’s all about: grassy light freshness. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Recipes, Series, Sides, Starches, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian
 

French in a Flash: Romantic Raspberry-Rose Sorbet with White Chocolate

RECIPE: Raspberry-Rose Sorbet with White Chocolate
Raspberry-Rose Sorbet with White Chocolate

Raspberry-Rose Sorbet with White Chocolate, à la Berthillon

Paris is a romantic city.  But the most romantic place in the whole of that romantic city is the tearoom at Berthillon.  Berthillon is an ice cream shop on the tiny and quaint Île St. Louis.  But it’s not like other ice cream shops.  It recognizes the wonder that is ice cream, and situates itself among the pomp and circumstance that ice cream requires: brass bars.  Marble tables.  Silver cups.  Line up and get a scoop to go.  Or, do something dreadfully romantic, and get a table for two in the tearoom. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Desserts, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Frozen, Recipes, Series, Vegetarian
 

The Secret Ingredient (Parsley): As-Good-As-Cole Slaw Cabbage and Parsley Salad

RECIPE: As-Good-As-Cole Slaw Cabbage and Parsley Salad
Green Cabbage and Parsley Slaw

Green Cabbage and Parsley Slaw

I’m so excited about this month’s unsung hero: parsley.  I know, I know.  But hold back that skepticism.  Parsley is on the rise, and it’s not being shy anymore!

There was a time when I didn’t like parsley. Not even a sprinkle on the plate. What? Did the chef think that I couldn’t taste it? Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Recipes, Salad, Series, Soup & Salad, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian
 

Red, Red Spanish Chorizo and Seafood Stew for Valentine’s Day

RECIPE: Red, Red Spanish Chorizo and Seafood Stew
Red Spanish Chorizo and Seafood Stew

Red Spanish Chorizo and Seafood Stew

Mr. English and I are celebrating our fifth Valentine’s Day together today.  I say today, because long ago we decided to start observing on the thirteenth.

We were both students at Oxford on our first Valentine’s day, and we’d been dating about four months.  We went to this really lovely restaurant called Gee’s.  It’s an old Victorian glass greenhouse converted into a restaurant.  Really cool.  There we were, a couple sandwiched between couples.  We could hardly even talk to each other without feeling like we were having pillow talk with six other people. Continue reading

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Easy, Eat, Fish, Main Courses, Recipes
 

Spanish Yellow Rice to Serve with the Spanish Valentine’s Day Chorizo and Seafood Stew

RECIPE: Spanish Yellow Rice
Spanish Yellow Rice
serves 4, to go with the Red, Red Spanish Chorizo and Seafood Stew

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups Bomba paella rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon piment d’Espelette
  • A nice pinch of saffron
  • 4 cups water or chicken, seafood, or vegetable broth or stock
  • Salt

PROCEDURE
In a nonstick saucepot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the rice, and stir to coat.  Toast the rice until it just starts to turn golden brown.  Add the spices and the water or stock.  Season with salt.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Cover and lower the heat to low.  Cook, covered, for 20 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is fluffy.

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French in a Flash: Artichoke and Green Olive Pantry Tapenade

RECIPE: Artichoke and Green Olive Pantry Tapenade

Artichoke and Green Olive TapenadeWhen I come home late from work, as I have been lately, I don’t really want a full dinner.  I don’t want to spend an hour in the kitchen, and I don’t want to spend an hour at the table.  I want something vibrant and light and life-giving.  Something that will get me till morning, and brighten up my evening.  No more, and no less.

This tapenade is my weeknight winner.  It’s unorthodox.  Most tapenades starts with black niçoise olives.  This one uses briny, bright green olives.  And, even more unique, while olives are usually center stage in tapenade, this tapenade is a double act of green olives and artichoke hearts.  The artichokes add their own texture and flavor, and they cut through that strident saltiness of the olives with a mellow Mediterranean creaminess.  I make a point to use the artichokes and olive that can sit for weeks in jars or cans in your pantry.  The rest of the flavors are always on hand and easy to keep: anchovy paste, herbes de Provence, garlic, Parmesan, lemon, and parsley.  For me, those are all pantry items that I have at home always.

So when, like tonight, I come home at nine o’clock wondering what I will scrape together, I have this bright, vegetal, versatile thing that I can whip up in the food processor in five minutes.  Then, I can pile it high on toast, mix it with canned tuna, dollop it on grilled fish, smash it with melty mozzarella in a Panini, or serve it with crudités and a well-deserved glass of white wine.  That is truly French in a flash, in a pinch.

Excerpted from my weekly column French in a Flash on Serious Eats.

Artichoke and Green Olive Pantry Tapenade
serves 6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium clove of garlic
  • 3/4 ounce excellent Parmesan
  • 1 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts in water or brine, drained
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted green olives, drained
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • Juice of 1/4 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley

PROCEDURE

Blitz the garlic and Parmesan in the food processor until they’re smashed to smithereens.  Then, add all the other ingredients, and pulse for a chunky tapenade, or run until smooth.  Serve with lightly toasted excellent bread.  Or, put in a Panini with fresh sliced mozzarella, or spoon over grilled fish.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Bread & Butter, Cheap, Dips, Spreads, Preserves, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Series, Vegetarian
 

French in a Flash: Bright, Light Paris Mushroom Salad

RECIPE: Bright, Light Paris Mushroom Salad
Paris Mushroom Salad with Parmesan, Parsley, Lemon, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt

Paris Mushroom Salad with Parmesan, Parsley, Lemon, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt

I’ve always marveled at the simple fact that no matter what I do to myself in Paris, I always lose weight.  And I do a lot to myself while I’m there.  I do cheese-stuffed crêpes.  I do Berthillon ice cream sundaes (can’t get enough of that raspberry whipped cream).  I do pain au chocolate for breakfast, and tarte au citron for dessert.  I do brioche.  I do frites.  I do steaks and cheeses and whole baguettes.  I do rillettes.  And confit.  And tartare.  And I always come home two pounds lighter.

I think I’ve figured it out.  Aside from the fact that walking every which way in Paris is just about the most enjoyable form of exercise on God’s green earth, I also eat a ton of salads.  There is a produce stand (if you can call it a stand–it’s half indoors) a block from my old apartment, where I still stay whenever I visit.  It’s always brimming with a tumble of seasons vegetables, and baskets of Tiffany-caliber berry gems.  You just have to eat them.  Some of my favorite recipes are the salads I invent when I’m in France.  Carrots with Dijon and walnuts.  Pears with Roquefort.  Peppers with roasted garlic.  And mushrooms with parsley and lemon.

Champignon de Paris sounds far more glamorous than button mushroom, but they’re one in the same.  As anyone who’s been to Paris will tell you: presentation is everything.  The city is there to be glimpsed.  The people, the buildings, the pastries.  They all know an eye will eventually turn and rest on them, and they are always ready.  A salad of champignons de Paris is no different.  Slice the humble mushrooms beautifully and thinly in a food processor, then chuck the parsley and cheese in right along with them.  Turn the whole bowl over, and top with lemon zest, olive oil, some bright wine vinegar, sea salt, and cracked black pepper.  It’s not your everyday salad, but it’s so simple and clean and bright.  I actually don’t think button mushrooms are good for much else.  But they’re PERFECT for this.  Bon app.

Excerpted from my weekly column French in a Flash on Serious Eats.

Bright, Light Paris Mushroom Salad
serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2- to 2-ounce chunk of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
  • 9 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt

PROCEDURE

Fit your food processor with the thin slicer attachment.  Push the Parmigiano Reggiano through first, then the parsley, and then the mushrooms.  Remove the slicing disc, and put a serving plate over the food processor bowl.  Invert the bowl, so the mushroom salad comes out with the mushrooms on the bottom and the parmesan on top.

Zest the lemon over the salad and top with cracked black pepper to taste.  In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, and salt until emulsified.  Drizzle over the salad and serve right away.

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Categories: 15 Minutes, Cheap, Easy, Eat, French in a Flash, Recipes, Salad, Series, Soup & Salad