The Secret Ingredient (Rosewater) Part II: Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto

RECIPE: Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto
Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose Salad

Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose Salad

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

This is an unusual dish that takes its cue from the traditional Italian cantaloupe and prosciutto. Bite-size balls of madras watermelon and cantaloupe are matched by tiny round bocconcini mozzarella. These three are tossed with a bright, heady rosewater vinaigrette, punctuated with chopped baby arugula, and topped with optional crispy slabs of prosciutto. Ham and melon will never be the same!

Melon and Mozzarella Salad with Rosewater Vinaigrette and Crisp Prosciutto
serves 4
Melon, Mozzarella, and Rose SaladIngredients

  • 4 thin slices prosciutto

  • 1/8 watermelon

  • 1/2 cantaloupe

  • 1 3/4 ounces bocconcini mozzarella

  • 1/3 cup arugula, lightly chopped

  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon rose water

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried roses (optional)

  • 1 bottle rosé wine, lightly chilled

  • About 6 splashes of rosewater


Begin by crisping the prosciutto. While the oven preheats to 350 degrees F, lay the prosciutto, keeping it as whole as possible, on a baking sheet. Bake for about 16 minutes, until the ham is thoroughly crisp. It may take less or more time, depending on your oven and on the thinness of the meat, so check it every now and again. Once done, set aside to cool.

Then prepare the melons. Use a melon baller to carve out balls of melon the same size as the bite-size bocconcini balls.

Toss the balls of watermelon and cantaloupe, along with the balls of mozzarella, in a large bowl with the arugula.

Make the dressing by simply combining the olive oil, champagne vinegar, rosewater, salt, and pepper in a jar. Screw on the lid, and give the dressing a good shake. Dress the salad lightly; you may not use all the dressing. Toss everything together.

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Categories: Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient

The Secret Ingredient (Rosewater) Part I: Blackberries And Raspberries With Rose Sabayon

RECIPE: Blackberries and Raspberries with Rose Sabayon
Berries with Rose Sabayon

Berries with Rose Sabayon

Get the whole story at Serious Eats.

The perfect topping for sweet-tart blackberries and raspberries is sweet sabayon. Raspberries and rose are like Tweedledee and Tweedledum—once you’ve seen them together, it’s hard to imagine one without the other. Sabayon is a frothy sweet foam made from egg yolks and sugar that looks straight out of the Cordon Bleu, but is probably the easiest impressive thing you’ll ever make. This is easy elegance.

Blackberries and Raspberries with Rose Sabayon
Berries with Rose SabayonIngredients

  • 24 ounces mixed raspberries and blackberries

  • 4 egg yolks

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons rosewater

  • Pinch salt


Begin by setting a sauce pot with a little bit of water in it to simmer.

Making sabayon is almost too easy. Simply place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl, and use a hand mixer on a medium to high speed to beat the yolks together for a couple of minutes, until the sugar is incorporated, and the yolks begin to turn pale.

Set the bowl over the simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water; the steam will provide the heat. Add the rosewater and salt to the yolk and sugar mixture.

Using the electric mixer, continue to beat the egg-sugar-rosewater combination until it becomes frothy and has doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. Take off the heat, and set aside.

Meanwhile, divide the berries into glasses or bowls. Pour the rose sabayon on top and enjoy.

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Categories: Desserts, Eat, Fruit, Recipes, Series, The Secret Ingredient, Vegetarian

French Revolution for Kindle!

French Revolution on Kindle

French Revolution on Kindle

It seems to me that knowledge and cooking have a lot in common.

Take Prometheus for example. In Greek mythology, the rascal gave fire to humanity, thus allowing us to cook (invaluable!), but also, symbolically, to think (also somewhat valuable).

So, it is quite apropos, I feel, that French Revolution is now available for monthly subscription on Kindle, Amazon‘s wireless electronic reading device. Whether this blog kindles your stove, or stokes the flame of your ever-expanding mind: I hope you’ll try it!

Click here to be taken to Amazon’s page for French Revolution to subscribe.

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Categories: Uncategorized

French in a Flash: Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française

RECIPE: Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française


Purple Potato Trout

Purple Potato Trout

Every girl starts off her life in the closet. Just whose closet, however, is a matter of chance. I began mine in Meme’s closet.

It was she who taught me the French insistence on simplicity embellished with “the correct” accessories. So this week in French in a Flash, I accessorize my favorite fish, trout, with scales of crisp purple potatoes and a spritz of sauce a la francaise, lemon-butter sauce, layered with threads of lemon zest and petals of whole parsley leaves. Pretty on the inside, and the outside.

As always, the full text and recipe of this post can be found on Serious Eats if you click HERE.

Bon app!
Purple Potato-Crusted Trout à la Française
serves 4


  • 4 1/2-pound filets of trout

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 4 medium or 8 small purple potatoes, sliced chip fine on a mandolin

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup whole fresh parsley leaves

A Note on Some Ingredients

I love the thin, flakey filet of trout for this dish, but you could use any flakey white fish. Tilapia or snapper would be especially nice.

If you cannot find purple potatoes, sometimes called Peruvian purple potatoes or blue potatoes, just use a simple new potato instead.


  1. Preheat the oven to 500°F.

  2. Rub both sides of each filet with just shy of 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with nonstick spray, and lay the filets skin-side down on the pan. Tile the top of the trout with the slices of purple potato, overlapping them like shingles. Season the potato with salt and pepper as well, and drizzle with the remaining oil.

  3. Roast for 12 minutes, then broil for 2 minutes.

  4. Present the fish on a platter, and spoon some of the sauce à la française on top.

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Categories: French in a Flash, Series

BBC Audio Now Available on French Revolution!

Recording at the BBC

Recording at the BBC

Good news. I have finally been able to upload the audio for my BBC shows right here to French Revolution. They have been added to all the original recipe posts, which I have listed below. Additionally, please find here my original interview with DJ Joel Hammer, on how it all, from French Revolution to French in a Flash, got started. I hope you enjoy!

BBC Radio Shows

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Categories: Watch

BBC Recipe: Apple and Blackberry Bread Pudding with Brioche and Calvados

RECIPE: Apple and Blackberry Bread Pudding with Brioche and Calvados
Apple Blackberry Bread Pudding

Apple Blackberry Bread Pudding

For the final, dessert course in my four-course French dinner for BBC Radio Oxford, I wanted to bridge the Channel and revel in a bit of Anglo-Francophilia. Apples and blackberries melt between layers of custard-soaked brioche for the perfect bread pudding.

I suppose it is appropriate for this bread and butter pudding that is presents itself as something of a sandwich: trifle layers of bread pudding stratified by a filling of blackberry and apple. I thought for this meal, a lightened Pot au Feu, dessert should be everything of wintry decadence—something the White Witch might have served to Edmund in Narnia. It is the bridge that crosses the Channel: the bread pudding is made from buttery sweet French brioche and spiked with Calvados from Normandy, but the apple and blackberry filling, like a cobbler filling, is all English.

I have heard that when Marie Antoinette proclaimed “Let them eat cake,” she used the word “brioche,” not “gateau.” The richness of the brioche gives a definitive cake feel to this dessert, and the size of its portions and not-too-sweet demeanor make it perfect for breakfast the next day. This brioche bread pudding is easy but still precious, comforting but still decadent, English but still very French. Good desserts make good neighbors.

Apple and Blackberry Bread Pudding with Brioche and Calvados
serves 4 to 6

Apple Blackberry Bread PuddingIngredients

  • ½ stick, or 4 tablespoons, or 2 ounces, or 57 grams, unsalted butter

  • 6 ounces/170 grams blackberries, halved

  • 4 Pink Lady apples, peeled, and cut into a ½ inch/ 1 ½ centimeter dice

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • ½ cup/110 grams sugar, plus 1 cup, plus 1 tablespoon

  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds and pod separated

  • 1 tablespoon/10 grams flour

  • 4 eggs

  • 2 cups half and half (US) or whole milk (UK)

  • 1/3 cup Calvados

  • 800 grams brioche (about 2 loaves), cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 1 container of custard (optional)

  • ¼ cup Calvados (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/177 degrees C.

  2. Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Once you’ve diced the fruit, toss it immediately with the lemon juice, and then add the mixture to the butter.

  3. Add in the seeds from the vanilla pod, and the sugar, and cook on low, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes.

  4. Add the flour to the fruit, and stir in. Cook another 3 minutes. Set the fruit aside to cool.

  5. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 eggs, 2 cups of half and half or whole milk, 1/3 cup Calvados, and 1 cup of sugar. Submerge the brioche cubes in the mixture, and allow to set and soak for 5 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, butter the inside of a square baking dish. Arrange half of the brioche mixture in the bottom of the dish. Then spread the apple and blackberry mixture all over, creating a layer of fruit. Cover with the second half of the brioche mixture. Top with a sprinkling of 1 tablespoon of sugar.

  7. Place the baking dish on a baking sheet to catch any spills, and bake for 45 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve warm.

  8. If you are making the custard, put the bought custard in a sauce pan on low heat to warm. Add in ¼ cup Calvados, some single cream to thin out the custard, and the reserved vanilla bean pod. Allow to just heat through.

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Categories: BBC Radio Recipes, Recipes, Series, Uncategorized, Watch

BBC Recipe: Two-Mustard Garlic Baguette

RECIPE: Two-Mustard Garlic Baguette
Mustard Baguette

Mustard Baguette

As the second side to serve with my Short Rib Pot au Feu in my BBC Radio Oxford series, I slather a warm, crusty baguette with two mustards, garlic, butter, and herbs. What better to soak in stew than little irreverent twists on iconic French ingredients? Be sure to tune in tomorrow for the final course: dessert.

When you’re modernizing a classic recipe, sometimes the best thing to do is to defiantly turn up your nose, stick your tongue irreverently in your cheek, and have a bit of fun with the irony of it. Traditional Pot au Feu is served with bread and potatoes and spicy French mustard. But I wanted a side dish, not a tray of condiments.

So, for my perfect pairing for my modern Pot au Feu, I combined the idea of bread and mustard into a single Mustard Garlic Baguette. Presented like supermarket garlic breads, with garlicky butter slathered into deep doughy ravines, mine begins with a fresh, crusty, and iconic baguette. Into gills that I slit into the bread, I smear a butter spiced with Dijon and whole grain mustards, garlic, thyme, parsley, and pepper. When the bread has baked, the garlic is sweet, the mustard tangy, the butter melted, and the baguette delicious and decadent. There is nothing better with which to soak up brothy Pot au Feu. This recipe makes a bit of extra mustard garlic butter, so you may even want to make two baguettes!

Pot au Feu Meal

Pot au Feu with Mustard Baguette

Two-Mustard Garlic Baguette
serves 4

Mustard BaguetteIngredients

  • 1 stick/4 ounces/ 113 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature

  • 4 small cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

  • The leaves from 1 stem of thyme

  • Salt

  • Pepper

  • 1 baguette


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/177°C.

  2. Mix the soft butter with the grated garlic, mustards, herbs, and salt and pepper. Set aside.

  3. On the top of every baguette are slits that bake to form the pattern distinctive on all French baguettes. Follow these markings, and slit them down the center, almost so you cut through the baguette, but not quite. You are making slits in the bread to slather with the garlic and mustard butter.

  4. Smear the interior of these slits generously with the butter. You may not use all of it (use it on a second baguette if you like).

  5. Wrap the buttered baguette completely in foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Pull apart, and dip into your Pot au Feu.

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Categories: Bakery, BBC Radio Recipes, Bread & Butter, Cheap, Easy, Eat, Recipes, Series, Vegetarian, Watch