p.s. Check back for a post on the Bastille Day celebration…
p.s. Check back for a post on the Bastille Day celebration…
Stuffed Mushrooms with Baguette, Boursin, and Mint
Mushroom Velouté with Truffle Oil
Champignon and Fontina Brioche Mushroom
Fricassee *bonus basic*
This weekend, Mr. English finds himself otherwise engaged, away on another one of those bizarre British pastimes, the “walking trip,” in Scotland. And truth be told, I’m glad of it. For, if he weren’t away on his trip, I couldn’t take mine: a sunny sojourn into the magnificent world of ’shrooms.
You see, Mr. English positively loathes mushrooms, the humble, unsung hero of French cuisine, adored the world over by seemingly everyone but him. Of course, I don’t mean the psychedelic variety. I’m far more partial to the shitake, the hen of the woods, the oyster, the chestnut, the porcini, the cremini. I’m enchanted by Chanterelles, learn my morals from Morels, and bellow for Portobellos. Their heady fragrances and flavors take me to heights I doubt the ’70s stoner ever experienced in the back of the VW bus, smoky as a kitchen though it was. But in love, one must endeavor to understand the world from the other’s point of view, and when it comes to mushrooms, I must admit, that I do understand. I wasn’t always such an addict.
When I was young (and vegetarian), the sole mushroom in my life was the one that popped out of a magic box on my Nintendo screen. When Mario and “Linguine” (once a foodie, always a foodie) grabbed hold of one of these fungal finds, they rapidly doubled in size, lived twice as long, and vanquished slimy toads, fire-breathing flowers, and flying King Koopas all in one go. My natural reaction should have been to gobble them up, for my mother made them often enough. I would have been the tallest girl in my grade, finished my arithmetic in five minutes flat, and conquered the inimical Monsieur Chameron, the French teacher who, to my young mind, conducted his own Reign of Terror on the Upper East Side with one disapproving swivel of his Gallic nose through the air, and a glare that shouted silently, “tu es idiot!”
In fact, the brilliant mastermind behind Mario Bros. wasn’t so far from the truth. One Portobello mushroom has more potassium than a banana, and mushrooms are one of the only, if not the only, vegetarian source of B vitamins. But I won’t touch anything just because it’s healthy. Ew. What I love about mushrooms, now that I’ve evolved enough to appreciate the little ones, is their inability to be anything but the salt of the earth. They come covered in earth, and they taste like earth: woodsy, oaky, and fresh, like soil soaked in rain. Evocative of the enchanted French past, of a brocade-clad lady leading a pig through the forest, hunting for buried truffle treasure, and collecting these little rhinestones all the way home to the stone house with its little lambs and smoke that puffs like lambs’ wool from the chimney. Like the lady with her pig, mushrooms, and their truffle cousins, are the irony of the French gastronomic world: fungus buried in the soil and snorted out by snouts, but consistently gussied up for presentation at the plate, and prized along with saffron and gold and brocade and all the other lovely things that cost decades of dollars to the ounce.
Lucky for you, mushrooms are light. This week, I offer three of my favorite mushroom recettes. Stuffed Mushrooms are a “chapeau” to kitschy appetizers, but mine are stuffed with smokey gruyere and creamy Boursin and baguette crumbs, made fresh with mint and parsley. Mushroom Velouté is la reine of mushroom soups, like grey velvet emblazoned with studs of truffle oil. And Champignon Fontina Brioche is the perfect sandwich to eat with a friend, over an afternoon table perked up by a carafe of white wine. Also, you will learn how to make the standard mushroom fricassee, a basic bonus needed for the Brioche recipe, but that can also be used as an embellishment for chicken or fish.
So be a good, and eat your mushrooms. If you do, it’s likely that nothing will stand in your way, not even Japanese animated king dragons or garrulous Gauls. You may even, like Mario and Linguine, get an extra life. So pack those supermarket shopping bags full, and take a trip. Bon app!
250 grams of chestnut mushrooms (or cremini/“baby bella” in America), stems removed
½ cup of baguette crumbs
½ cup of smoked cheese (smoked version of gruyere, or even cheddar), grated
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Boursin
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and pepper
4 medium-to-thick slices of brioche, lightly toasted
8 thin slices of fontina cheese
2 tablespoons of mushroom fricassee (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons of prepared tapenade
1 ½ pounds of chopped, assorted wild mushrooms, like hen of the woods, cremini, shitake, and button
3 tablespoons of butter
1 large shallot, minced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of flour
¾ cup of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
For those of us who are hungry, a city, like London, can be a labyrinth with no helpful Ariandne’s string to point out the right gastronomic direction. It was Saturday afternoon and I was with Mr. English (that’s my boyfriend) at two o’clock when we both realized with a cataclysmic boom that neither of us had eaten and were quickly deteriorating to a state of what would be known on the Lower East Side as “kvetchiness.” To make matters worse, we were standing, lost in the middle of London’s Borough Market, a serpentine thoroughfare of overrun footpaths under a railway bridge brimming with food vendors: a culinary labyrinth within the labyrinth, a gastronomic heaven that quickly began to feel like hell.
But we had meant to go out for a “nice lunch,” seated across from the Thames at a table draped in a starched white table cloth with silverware that felt like it was worth its weight. I looked helplessly around me: ruddy gilded tins of truffles, seafarer’s glass cannisters of ras-el-hanout, ropes of currants that dangled recklessly from the safety of their little jade boxes. Food, food everywhere, but not a bite to eat! I looked down at a homeless man begging by the pillar on the edge of the market: masochist!
Rationally, what followed was an argument. “Let’s just have a little something here to tide us over,” I pleaded. “I don’t really want that,” quashed Mr. English. “But what about that chorizo place we saw?” “Did you see the queue?!” As we meandered with much purpose but little direction, I darted like a squirrel through an autumn grove, harvesting a bounty of small checkers of bread dipped in liquid gold oils and bits of cheese that would hardly serve as enough to attract a mouse to a trap, but that melted like drops of creamy, heady candy in my mouth. All around us was the Saturday clatter of an ancient market, which had grown inveterately into this very spot, but had, of late, succumb to the fate of all the old-world relics in cities like New York and London: it had become trendy. I glared up at Mr. English as he munched an olive off a toothpick. Above the din, my stomach growled at him. “Ok, chorizo,” he conceded.
So, I was wrong. It seems there is an Ariadne’s string through the culinary labyrinths of London, and that string is more like a Hansel and Gretel trail of chorizo sandwiches that lead to a long line that leads to Brindisa, a dilapidated stall containing two crooked, burning onyx grills at the back, and a little low table at the front. The menu is simple: single or double. There, Mr. Sausage, the Borough Man, dexterously stacks one or two (depending on your order) smoking and smokey chorizo sausages, split and spicy and crisp, on a toasted ciabatta roll laced with an embellishment of that liquid gold I mentioned earlier. Following that are one or two roasted piquillo peppers and some baby arugula. He folds the sandwich back on itself, wraps it in a napkin, and hands it to you as you droolingly fork over somewhere between £3.75 and £4.50.
Mr. English and I retreated over by the pillar, where the homeless man had loitered moments before. No starch or silver for us. Oh, no. We stood, with the gleaming, gossamer red grease running through our fingers as we giggled up from our sandwiches, mouths dusted in bakers’ flour like children who had greedily gulped powdered donuts. I dropped my last bite of sausage, and Mr. English (who had ordered a double) gave me his. And somewhere between the heat of the sausage, the heat of the day, and the heat of the moment, we were in love again.
My Borough Man, like the Marlboro Man for whom he is named, brought me back to the cowboy, or should I say gaucho, way of eating, when all you want is something good and real, because stomachs know nothing of pomp and circumstance. So while the Marlboro Man was roping bulls, my Borough Man was slaying the Minotaur—and serving some form of him up on his parilla. Now that’s a hero for you! Guess I didn’t need Ariadne’s string after all. I just had to follow my gut.
Provençal Anchovy Bath for Baguette and Crudités
White Bean Velouté with Herbs de Provence Oil
Fried Portuguese Sardines with Harissa Tomato Sauce
When I was a little girl, I lived in another world, and that world was called Narnia. Or, at least I did in my mind. In my young, bright, brunette head, I would grow up to marry the vivacious Prince Caspian, and valiant little Reepicheep would be our Mouse-in-waiting.
When I saw that both Caspian and Reepicheep would be appearing in the new movie The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, I am embarrassed to admit that I gasped with pleasure, and immediately fell upon my C. S. Lewis texts with the renewed vim and vigor of seventeen years ago. You may be thinking that the closet in the title of this post refers to the wardrobe in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, a wooden closet that transported the young boys and girls from war-torn England to the land of Narnia. But while some kitchen closets may appear to lead to other worlds, and may even house talking Mice, although despite my love for Reepicheep I do hope yours doesn’t, it is the treasure chamber in Prince Caspian to which I am referring.
In Prince Caspian, the four children, Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter, stumble back to their old castle Cair Paravel and find the treasure chamber, where their clothes and jewels and swords and bows and arrows and magic potions have lain dormant for a millennium, to have been discovered right when they have become necessary. Now that, to me, truly resembles a pantry, which, in my house, is a brimming series of shelves the kitchen closet. In that pantry, magical potions of harissa and pistou, an arsenal of culinary weaponry from anchovies to dried zapote, and exotic jewels like imported tinned truffles have lain latently for, at least it seems like, centuries. All too often, I dump half of my pantry’s contents in my bi-annual overhauls. In our world of fresh green markets, the convenience of yesterday’s staple preserved foods are often hidden behind a shut wooden door, and like the treasures of Cair Paravel, left untouched and forgotten.
While I love cooking, I, like you I’m sure, don’t want to spend every night rifling through fresh produce, concocting feasts fit for the mirrored hall at Versailles. Sometimes, I come home late, and am tired, and may even be going out again, and dinner has to be conjured up through some sort of culinary magic from the stores I have behind that shut wooden door. But I still want dinner to be interesting and presentable, especially if I am sharing it with friends. So this week, I am showing you how to make a perfect whole three course meal from your pantry, and showing you what to always have around when you do have time to shop, so that you won’t go hungry when you don’t. On tonight’s menu (yes, tonight, for if your pantry is well-stocked, you won’t have to leave your house!): Anchovy Bath for Baguette and Crudités, White Bean Velouté with Herbs de Provence Oil, and Fried Portuguese Sardines with Harissa Tomato Sauce. The first is a traditional Provençal amuse bouche where anchovies are pounded together with olive oil and served with a few olives. Use it as a dip for whatever you have around: leftover carrots and cherry tomatoes, breadsticks, or stale baguette, which you should just slice, drizzle with a touch of olive oil, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. The second uses up those white beans in the pantry, for with just a bit of garlic and shallot and stock, they emerge a velvety soup as warming and comforting as brandy and decorated with herbs de Provence mixed with olive oil and served as a condiment at the table. The last takes sardines, tosses them with flour, and fries them. The sauce is a mix of everything red in your pantry: chili flakes, harissa, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and sundried tomato paste, and is a fiery partner for the little shards of crispy fish—kind of like French calamari with marinara. Eating out of the pantry is like eating for free and in five minutes—but these recipes make it a treat as well. Like the children in Narnia, all you need is a little imagination.
In the Pantry
Everyone who cooks has certain things in her pantry, like flour and sugar and an aging array of herbs and spices, that I will take for granted. But every bonne fille française has a culinary repertoire that may differ a bit from the average americaine’s. Here is a shopping list of culinary jewels to keep locked away in that ancient closet for just such a time when you’ll need them most.
herbs de provence
red chili flakes
canned green pepper corns
extra virgin olive oil t
white wine vinegar
whole grain mustard “à l’ancien”
jarred black olive tapenade
jarred green pesto or pistou
jarred red pesto or pistou
dried wild mushrooms
capers in brine anchovy paste
tuna, salmon, or sardines in olive oil or water
sundried tomatoes in oil or sundried tomato paste
cans of petite diced tomatoes or chair de tomate
lentils de puy
canned beans, like chick peas and cannellini
panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
bouillon cubes or broth
garlic (and/or garlic paste for emergencies)
assorted pastas, at least one long strand (spaghetti) and one short shape (rotelle/wagon wheels)
four red fruits jam
orange flower water
dried lavender blossoms
petit beurre cookies
frozen puff pastry
baguettes, baguettes, baguettes
This is just a provisionary list. I often also have frozen peas, frozen spinach, frozen shrimp, frozen berries, filo pastry, and pie pastry in the freezer, but that’s not exactly the pantry, now is it? I also think it’s a good idea to keep potatoes and carrots, leeks and tomatoes, and I nearly always have risotto rice on hand. Also, never be scared of stocking up on baguettes. If they get stale, I break them up into the food processor and whirl them around till I have fresh baguette crumbs—almost the only type of bread crumb I ever use. Then I just keep them in the freezer until I need them. Also, to make the pantry a true treasure chamber, I like to pick up items of interest, like cassis mustard or tarragon vinegar, to make it all more special and exciting. Now, at the risk of sounding just a tad too politically incorrect for our own world, it’s time to get back in the closet!
1 baguette, sliced ½ inch thick, or a packet of breadsticks, or some raw vegetables (or all three)
¼ cup of olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 crushed garlic clove
2 full teaspoons of anchovy paste
A handful of Provençal olives
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 shallots, or 2 very small onions, chopped or sliced
1 tablespoon of garlic paste, or 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 410-gram cans of white beans (like cannellini, haricot, or great northern), drained and rinsed 4 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken)
¼ cup of cream (optional)
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil 2 teaspoons of herbs de Provence
The victor, with 45% of the votes, in June’s French Revolution “French Wine” poll is…
Congratulations to all you Revolutionaries who chose the French white. In the spirit of fraternité, egalité, and liberté, I’m glad you exercised your right to vote. Read on to find out more about Sancerre, my favorite white wine, and for the monthly poll recette:
Chicken with Sancerre, Mushrooms, and Thyme
I recently bought a book of Roald Dahl’s short stories. Most of us revere Roald Dahl as the author of classic children’s books, from Fantastic Mr. Fox to Matilda, but he also wrote great handfuls of “mature” stories, stories that are sexy, racy, irreverent, and, above all, intoxicating, like “Taste,” in which the fate of a young girl rests on the outcome of a blind wine taste test. The wine is described as gentle, demure, and bashful. Not a Sancerre.
Knowing about wine is certainly a matter of pride; even if you don’t care much about wine except for its taste and its heady effects, you still feel like you’ve won a culture contest when you can hold up a wine list and at least look like you know what you’re talking about, and come up with some anthropomorphizing adjectives that reconstruct the flavor of the wine in the form of a tantalizing young Bacchanal.
Truth be told, my friend Julie introduced me to Sancerre. She was sitting across the table from me in that mythical, late Moules Frites haven La Tour that I mentioned in Flex!. “Mmm…Sancerre. We’ll have two glasses.”
In the vein of Roald Dahl’s “tasteful” language, I would describe Sancerre as fruity and flowery all at once, sparkling without the bubbles, the brighter citrus Champagne of flat wines. If she were a Bacchanal, Sancerre would have orange blossoms streaming from her hair and would dance the Charleston. Gentle, demure, bashful she is not; but she is gilded class in a glass. She is witty and elegant, wears almost too many ropes of chic white pearls, and always has the last word.
Sancerre is made from the Sauvignon Blanc grape, growing around the town of Sancerre in the Loire Valley. Sancerre is one of the original Appellations d’Origine Contrôlée awarded in the late 1930s—AOC is a way that the French government recognizes and regulates the point of origin of French food products, and is why so many of them are recognized by the name of their town of production, beginning with Roquefort, a blue cheese named after its city, in the fifteenth century. Red and even rosé Sancerres are made in the same region from the Pinot Noir grape.
Like the life of any party, Sancerre gets along very well with almost anyone, or anything, on the table. But to show her to advantage, I’d sit her with goat cheese to her left and shellfish or whitefish to her right. And if you find you can only take such a spirit in small doses, make a Sancerre spritzer. Giada de Laurentiis makes a brilliant white wine spritzer by freezing orange and lemon zest into ice cubes, and then mixing with sparkling water and white wine. Replace Pellegrino with Perrier and Pinot Grigio with Sancerre. Finally, she’ll sparkle as she was meant to.
To taste! Chin chin!
Please vote in the July poll: which French colonial cuisine do you prefer? Creole/Cajun with its New Orleans beignets? Moroccan tagines and fragrant teas and salads? Quebecoise poutine? Or the salty sweet noodle dishes of Indochine? At the end of July, I’ll share a recipe from the winning cuisine! Oooh…which to choose? They’re all so good! I’ll let the Revolutionary public decide.
Basic Crêpe Batter
Brie Crêp-o-dilla with Avocado Crème Fraîche and Watermelon Salsa
Crêpe Salad Bowl with Cassis Mixed Greens and Warm Goat Cheese
As you know, my mother and my grandmother and toute la famille are French. As a form of adolescent rebellion, I had stubbornly forgotten and refused to relearn the language of Proust and Saint-Exupery, of Candide and of Astrix and Obelix. I was a very naughty little girl.
So when I was fifteen, my mother suggested that I spend the summer completing one of those language immersion programs, where you attend school and live with another family, and where speaking English is as forbidden and ghastly as dumping ketchup all over a plate of escargots. After a refresher course in Paris, off I went to Brest, and after spending a day snickering about the city’s name, I then stumbled innocently upon something even better than French verbs: French food!
Brest is located on the coast of Bretagne, a province simultaneously French and Breton all at once. Though the feu d’articifice still dazzled the cold, dark sky on Basille Day, hints of the old Breton language permeated the Bretons’ speech; old, Saxon-like dances still were danced in large, pied circles at the center of town; and on every other corner thereabouts resided the most charming Breton of all: the crêpe man.
In New York, one comes to rely on street food. Central Park has become quite safe in the past decades, but hunger still stealthily burgles about. The knowing New Yorker need only walk several yards before finding rescue at the Hot Dog Stand. There, for a few (an ever-increasing few) dollars, the New Yorker can still his stomach on a hot dog with ketchup, or a salty pretzel with mustard. And the city streets are safe and satisfying once again.
I was on another English picnic recently, and when one is in England, I say do as the English—drink in the afternoon! I had cheers-ed my way through a whole bottle of wine spritzer when I stood up to stumble home, and on my merry way, I tripped disbelievingly up to a stand on which was emblazoned: Crêpes O Mania, Breton Pancake Specialist.
It is my steadfast and personal opinion that there is no better cure for the rumbling of an intoxicated stomach than the oozing, salty perfection of a crisp and gooey crêpe au fromage. I shouted up at the proprietor in glee: “Are you really from Bretagne!? Do you use gruyere!?” Tolerantly he chuckled, yes, he was Breton, and no, he did not use gruyere, though he claimed he could have done, just as well.
“Will you still try one?” Yes, of course. I never say to no to cheese crêpes. As a rule. To my surprise, he did not pull out a pre-prepared crêpe, but ladled a curiously dark batter onto a hot crêpe griddle. “Buckwheat?” I demanded. He told me yes, it is healthier, and makes a better crêpe, and he is the only man in Oxford with the secret. He then blanketed the crêpe with a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (I was skeptical), and expertly peppered the combination with salt before folding it up into the trademark rectangle of the savory Breton galette. I bit through the perfect eggshell of crisp, buckwheat pancake, and out oozed the cheese. M. Le Crêpe, mes compliments! He even gave me a frequent crêp-ers card, and I get my tenth free!
The crêpe is one of the most signature, and yet versatile, foodstuffs of France. It can be sweet or salé, served for breakfast or dinner, a midnight snack or dessert. It can be fancy, or be humble. This week’s installment is all about little unorthodox recettes for the crêpes that you make (I’ve included my go-to basic batter recipe) or you buy. Crêpe-O-Dilla is a French quesadilla that uses the pancake as a tortilla on the grill, stuffed with creamy brie, toasted, and topped with avocado crème fraîche and a tomato and watermelon salsa. The crêpe salad bowl is a crisp shell, filled with mixed greens, crisp goat cheese, and a cassis mustard vinaigrette. And finally, the Crêpe Monsieur is a savory prosciutto and gruyere pancake, seared, and then topped with a gruyere-Dijon béchamel and baked. Merveilleux!
M. Le Crêpe, merci pour le dessert dans le desert…
Crêpe-o-dillas with Avocado Crème Fraîche and Watermelon-Tomato Salsa
250 grams of brie
3 vine tomatoes, petite diced
¾ cup of petite diced watermelon
1 tablespoon of parsley
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 pinches of salt
¾ cup of crème fraîche
Juice of ½ lime
Crêpe Salad Bowls with Cassis Mixed Greens and Warm Goat Cheese Medallions
1 bag of bistro greens, including shards of beets
¼ cup of olive oil
2 ½ tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of honey
1 pinch of herbs de Provence
1 tablespoon of cassis Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
200 grams of cold goat cheese
1 cup of breadcrumbs or panko, or the two mixed together
Salt and pepper
6 slices of prosciutto
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons of grated gruyere, divided
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan, divided
4 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of flour
1 ¼ cup of milk
Butter for dotting
Salt and pepper
scroll down for these picnic recipes…
Provencal “Soupe au Pistou” Pasta
Watermelon with Rose and Raspberries
Oh, the great outdoors. The wide open country, the rolling hills, the heady blossoms of the early summer flowers…
I’m a city girl. Wide open country…agoraphobia! Rolling hills…I get seasick thinking of amber waves of grain. And flowers? Bunkers for kamikaze bees.
Now that my work is done for the summer, I have been participating altogether unseemingly frequently in, what I have learned to be, an English pastime as sacred as cricket and drinking Pimm’s: the picnic. Interestingly, I’ve found that one also watches cricket and drinks Pimm’s while on a picnic, so really the whole affair avalanches into a sacred ritual.
You may not know this, but my boyfriend is a zoologist here in Oxford. Thus, we see the concept of “picnic” from rather disparate angles. When I, the literature student and writer, think of an English picnic, I think of Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice, walking through the emerald English countryside, stopping for an apple just one mile shy of Pemberley. The green hills are plush as a penthouse carpet, and the cool indoors, replete with bathroom and rose-scented water, are just a stone’s throw off in the distance. When a zoologist thinks of an English picnic, however, he considers the offhand possibility of discovering a verminous new species somewhere in the thorny undergrowth.
Chris planned the picnic with scientific accuracy. I, naturally, would take on the food, and he got a car, scouted out the field, and arrived romantically with a kiss. We drove to the site and I stifled the New Yorker in me: the grass was thigh high. As I scaled the splintering old wooden fence, I could barely hear the warnings: “Watch those thorns!” I smacked a rogue ant that shimmied up my leg. Fresh! “Careful, Kerry, those are stinging nettles!” Stinging nettles? I thought the kamikaze bees would be the only Axis powers in the warzone. There I was—an American abroad, hacking through a jungle, ducking enemy fire. Typical.
When I finally arrived at the spot, I looked around. Grass, grass everywhere, and not a place to sit. I threw my blanket like a fisherman’s net over some spindly green leaves, and with a proud chin up, plopped down…as a thorn sank fatally into my derriere. I yelped, but then smiled lovingly and offered Chris some Provencal “Soupe au Pistou” Pasta and water spiked with elderflower and mint. I gobbled down my lunch as quickly as I could, and looked up at him expectantly. “Come on, I’ll take you home.”
Back at home, I reconsidered and compromised: I would only picnic on cricket pitches, where the grass is sure to be mown and a bathroom lurks just behind that ominous bunch of trees. I have since been on two other quite successful outings. I always did love to picnic in Central Park with sandwiches from Yura, or to barbeque salmon on the beach, and I just had to find the right way to do it across the pond.
This week’s recipes are perfect for packing to take along with you, be it to Central Park’s civilization or the uncultivated warzones of the wild. As ever, they are cheekily Francophile. Provencal “Soupe au Pistou” Pasta is a twist on the Provencal classic soupe au pistou, a vegetarian broth laden with petite green vegetables and spiked with basil pistou. Pan Bagnat is a southern tradition—salade Nicoise on bread and the best tuna fish sandwich you’ll ever have. And the all-American picnic staple, watermelon, is reset, jeweled with ruby raspberries and washed in rose water.
So pack up that Citron Pressé and get going. Just be careful where you sit…
1 loaf of ciabatta, halved horizontally
1 head of green little gem lettuce, washed and cored, leaves separated
1 half of an English cucumber, thinly sliced
200 grams of albacore or yellowfin tuna packed in olive oil
200 grams of albacore or yellowfin tuna packed in water
¼ cup of mayonnaise
½ cup of pitted olives, preferably nicoise, divided and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon of capers
½ teaspoon of anchovy paste
10 chives, snipped
Watermelon with Rose and Raspberries
¼ seedless watermelon taken off the rind, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 ½ tablespoons of rosewater
A handful of raspberries