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June 2014 COTM - My Paris Kitchen: First Courses (Entrées), Sides (Accompagnements

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First Courses (Entrées)
Sides (Accompagnements)

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  1. Green Beans with Snail Butter, p. 222.

    This is such an easy and delicious way to serve green beans that I can't believe I never thought of it before. In fact, I have thought of it, but I was always chary with the garlic and used EVOO to sauté the 1 lb. of blanched green beans. I never just said the heck with it: just follow Lebovits' directions and slather in 4 TBS of butter to sauté 3 TBS of minced garlic (plus chopped parsley and s & p) and toss all with the beans till hot--add some drops of lemon juice, and you have a completely delicious side dish that makes even stocky supermarket green beans sublime.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Goblin

      Green Beans with Snail Butter, p. 222

      My standard prep is to saute blanched green beans with garlic butter and toss with minced sage (I believe this is a Bert Greene recipe). Copious amounts of garlic never scare me so I knew we'd like this.

      I would make this again except for steaming the green beans. Mine were a little overcooked (and also not evenly cooked). I prefer my usual method of blanching, shocking in ice water to preserve the color, draining, then sauteing w/the garlic and butter.

       
      1. re: nomadchowwoman

        Nomadchowwoman, for this recipe I blanched my beans in a pot of salted water rather than steaming them because with boiling them I can more easily guarantee they will all be cooked through at the same time. But I was surprised to find that just spreading them out on a towel to cool and dry worked fine in preserving the color and texture--I have ALWAYS thought that I had to shock them in ice water--but I thought I'd try Lebovitz' method. At least for the amount of beans I used (1 1/2 pounds) it worked.

        1. re: Goblin

          I like blanching too. I keep the blanching liquid. This time I did beans, then gai lan (wouldn't have done the other way around as the cabbage taste would not suit the beans), then potatoes. This water was poured into the crockpot with chicken carcasses, and some frozen bits (dark green tough part of leeks, spinach stems) and made a lovely stock.

          1. re: Goblin

            Good to know! Thanks, Goblin.

          2. re: nomadchowwoman

            Your beans look super fresh and crisp. Beautiful. I may do these tonight with the mustard steak.

          3. re: Goblin

            Green Beans with Snail Butter, Pg. 222

            Loved this recipe as others did. Followed it to the letter (for a change). Used fresh green beans picked the morning we bought them. Was a very tasty addition to chicken roasted w orange and lime, and brown rice w onion pilaf. I can see it with asparagus as well. Actually, I secretly wanted escargot. Don't tell anyone though.

            1. re: Gio

              Where did you find such freshly picked beans? I am quivering with anticipation.

              1. re: smtucker

                LOL Connors Farm, Danvers. Our Melrose Farmers' Market opens today so that's where we'll be shopping this Summer, except for the odd times we find ourselves near the local farms.

            2. re: Goblin

              Green Beans with Snail Butter

              Add me to the fan list for these beans! Yum. I followed the directions exactly (including steaming the beans) and all worked just as described. Can't say I'll make this dish often as I'm not in the habit of dousing my beans with half a stick of butter on a regular basis. But they were very good. I had them as a side to pan-cooked steak (the NYT technique, I decided against the mustard steak) and my husband and I ate the whole pound of beans.

              1. re: Westminstress

                I served these again last night (for the third time) to my grandkids who ate every bean!!

                Maybe the nutritional positives of eating a pound of green beans can balance out using the 4 oz. of butter?
                ;-)

                1. re: Westminstress

                  A half stick of butter, indeed. We usually just steam green beans lightly when they're as fresh as the ones we had and don't even season them. But, I thought, "Just this once."

                2. re: Goblin

                  I made this to accompany chicken with caramelized shallots ( a gem and a keeper of a recipe from the DL blog). I agree with previous posters; this is very tasty. I am wondering (a bit late) why we did not include the DL blog for this month's COTM... I think it would have enhanced the month's offerings.

                3. Lemon-Pistachio Israeli Couscous, p. 237.

                  This is a side salad that could stand on its own or accompany a meat dish. Mixed together, the ingredients become greater than the sum of the parts: diced preserved lemon, chopped parsley, diced dried fruit (I used cranberries) chopped unsalted pistachios, ground cinnamon, and cooked Israeli couscous (or another small pasta.) A couple of TBS of butter tossed with the pasta add an unctuous touch. I added salt and pepper till I was satisfied and really liked this.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Goblin

                    I always love those recipes that seem greater than the sum of their parts. And honestly, I'm never good at being able to guess by reading a recipe which ones will turn out that way.

                    ~TDQ

                    1. re: Goblin

                      I made the lemon-pistachio (almond slivers) Israeli Couscous last night as a side to the chicken lady's chicken, along with a salad. I'm afraid I wasn't a fan. I held back on the preserved lemon, only using about half as much as called for (and I was pleased with that amount), but I felt the cinnamon overwhelmed it. Just a difference in preferences here - there was nothing wrong with the recipe. I thought the fruit was nice, Lulu didn't care for that part, and my husband liked it (and plans to eat the leftovers for lunch).

                    2. Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing (Salade de crudités rapées avec sauce crémeuse à l'ail)

                      I must say that slaws don't usually do all that well at our house because my husband doesn't like cabbage. That said, this salad with it's pungent dressing and many veggie options definitely one him over.

                      You begin by shredding about 6 cups combined of any number of veggies/fruit (cabbage, radicchio, endive, carrots, beets, apples, radishes, fennel, and the list goes on), tossed with either a mayonnaise based garlic dressing or a garlic vinaigrette, and finally topped with lovely minced parsley and chives.

                      In my case I opted for beets, carrots, fennel, apple, and some cabbage, all dressed up with the garlic vinaigrette in lieu of the mayo based dressing. The combination of vegetables was beautiful to look at and the flavours meshed very well together, especially as our milder veggie companions were joined by sweet apple and pungent garlic dressing. A great side for a BBQ or any casual affair where you need something that can be prepared in advance.

                      Definitely going into the keeper pile for us.

                       
                      5 Replies
                      1. re: delys77

                        Magnificent!

                        1. re: lagatta

                          Thanks very much

                        2. re: delys77

                          Raw Vegetable Slaw with Garlic Vinaigrette, p. 96.

                          My turn for this very attractive side dish which is beautifully described and photographed by delys77. I used red and green cabbage, carrots, fennel, apple, beets, and avocado (which I loved for the smoothness it gave to the finished dish) plus chopped parsley and chives. I made the garlic vinaigrette to go with it and it was light and delicious.

                          There's definitely a certain amount of knife-work involved on your way to obtaining the requisite thin matchsticks of the various veggies--but you are rewarded with an attractively rustic slaw that tastes and looks very fresh and that couldn't have come out of a pre-shredded or sliced package. I served it with salmon and my new addiction from this book, green beans with snail butter, for a nice summery dinner.

                          1. re: delys77

                            Raw Vegetable Slaw with Creamy Garlic Dressing

                            Haven't been cooking with COTM recently, but I couldn't resist this one. We served it with lemon honey chicken wings and oven chips for a quick and easy dinner.

                            Toddler doesn't eat vegetables so I was basically making a salad for two. Therefore I took the liberty with my vegetables and used white cabbage, carrots, apples and beetroot only. The beetroot is precooked from the supermarket and I also used mayonnaise from a jar. The vegetables was shredded using the food processor. All these short cuts made it a very simple salad.

                            Mr lilham doesn't like coleslaw and he said this is the best coleslaw he's ever had. I really loved it as well.

                            1. re: delys77

                              I also made this salad--SO good! I used green cabbage, broccoli, carrots, black and red radish, beets, two eggs and a yellow pepper. i didn't have parsley or chives, so I subbed tarragon and arugula and green onions. I used the vinegar dressing--though I added the hard boiled yolks into the dressing. I used garlic and herb infused oil from another project.

                              This is for sure one I'll make again!

                               
                            2. Celery Root Puree (Purée de céleri-rave)

                              I love celery root puree and have made versions from Ina Garten and Dorie Greenspan, both of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. This recipe is also enjoyable but quite different from the others.

                              Essentially you warm a 50/50 blend of stock and whole milk (1% in my case) with a bay leaf and some salt, in to which go a clove of garlic and cubed and peeled celery root and potatoes (about 30% potato and 70% celery root). This gets simmered together for 30-40 minutes. You are then meant to strain the lot and reserve 2 cups of the broth. DL then suggests that you put the celery root into a food processor, food mill, or ricer, but doesn't say what to do with the potato. I'm sure the potato was just an omission, but I do know from experience the potato can't go into the food processor or it will turn into a gummy mess. I opted to put the lot through the finest plate on my ricer. While this worked I would likely not repeat this approach as it was a bit messy and the texture of the celery root was still grainier than I would like. My suggestion is to either cook the root and potatoes separately or separate them after straining and then put the potato through the ricer and the root in the processor. This is Ina's approach and I think the texture is superior.

                              In DL's recipe you can add a bit of the milk/stock mixture to the puree to loosen it, but mine didn't need this after I folded in the suggested butter/salt/pepper.

                              On the whole I would say this puree is much heavier on the celery root than other's that I have tried, and while I think this is a nice change, I do prefer the smoother flavour and texture of a puree that is closer to 50/50. That said, this was still nice and I might repeat in a case where I was looking for more celery flavour.

                              In the photo below you can just see the puree poking out from under the mustard chicken.

                               
                              2 Replies
                              1. re: delys77

                                It sure looks delicious!

                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                  Thanks NMC, I just had some left overs for lunch and it held up very well.

                              2. Celery Root Salad, p. 105

                                I have never thought to use celery root raw before, so this recipe was a revelation to me - as are many of the ideas David passes on in this book. I used homemade creme fraiche but store bought mayo. I think homemade mayo would have elevated the results considerably. I halved the dressing recipe and still had enough to dress an entire celery root, with some left over.

                                This dish got skeptical looks from my family but everyone ended up eating it and saying they liked it. I ate the left overs this morning for breakfast. As DL advised, the leftovers were a bit limp but still tasty. Next time, I think I would combine this with another veggie to add some textural and color contrast. Perhaps carrots, or radishes. If you used all three, it would be very pretty - esp. if you used the multi color carrots available these days. The dressing would also be wonderful on a potato salad.

                                1. Wheat berry salad with radicchio, root vegetables, and pomegranate, p. 240

                                  DL suggests using any combination of carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips, and butternut squash for this salad; our household's CSA share has included carrots and beets each week lately, so those were what I used (and were what led me to choose this recipe). The vegetables are peeled and cut into chunks, then tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted until tender. Coarsely chopped radicchio is spread atop the roasted vegetables and left in the oven for a few minutes to wilt. Meanwhile, wheat berries or farro are cooked until al dente, drained, and allowed to cool (I used farro). The vegetables and cooled grains are combined with chopped flat-leaf parsley and pomegranate seeds (it's not pom season, obviously, but I bought a little tub of seeds from Trader Joe's) and dressed with a vinaigrette made from Dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey or pomegranate molasses (I used the pom molasses), and olive oil.

                                  This is one terrific dish! Chewy grains, sweet and earthy roasted root vegetables, bitter radicchio, and tart pomegranate seeds, molasses, and lemon juice all come together to make a well-balanced, texturally varied, delicious dish that I also think will hold well for several days. I also think a tart dried fruit like cranberries or cherries would make a fine stand-in for pomegranate seeds.

                                   
                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Lovely!

                                    ~TDQ

                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                      I passed this right over as I'm not in the mental frame of mind for roasting root veg right now, but this looks really good and you remind me that the market has plenty of young beets and carrots now....

                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Looks gorgeous!

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          This look delicious

                                        2. pp 110 Cherry Tomato Crostini with homemade herbed goat cheese.

                                          i used goats milk yogurt and stained and let sit for 24 hours-- Creamier than purchased goats cheese-- but i think you you skip this step and use plain goat cheese and add all of the herbs and spices

                                          The tomatoes were divine-- Not only tasty-- my home smelled wonderful and they look beautiful

                                          A resounding success-- My husband ate 3 and asked if it was hard to make and could I repeat today(I am for a dinner party)

                                          I think you could double the tomato recipe and use in pasta/ or throughout the week...

                                          We are serving with a crisp white wine (Sav blanc or chablis ) as an appetizer this evening

                                           
                                           
                                           
                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                            How beautiful, and what a stunning plate you served them on.

                                            1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                              Your crostini are gorgeous! I have that recipe tabbed; just need to get my hands on some goat yogurt.

                                              1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                Cherry Tomato Crostini w/Homemade Herbed Goat Cheese, p. 110

                                                While my crostini didn't look as stunning as sfspicegirl's--I had mixed cherry tomatoes that were mostly yellow, orange , and brownish--they were utterly delicious.

                                                My tomatoes were so good fresh that I was hesitant to stick them in the oven, but something magical happened as they mingled with sliced garlic (I used two cloves for 1/2 lb. tomatoes), herbs (chives, thyme, sage, rosemary), olive oil, salt and pepper during their 45-minute roast. The result was almost jammy, caramelized, herby, sweet. Atop the herbed cheese on the oiled and garlic-rubbed ciabatta toasts--heaven.

                                                The homemade cheese was so easy: strained goat yogurt is mixed with minced shallot, minced garlic, minced herbs (chives, parsley, thyme, sage), salt, and cayenne--perfect as a tangy counterpart to the tomatoes. I think this would be a terrific dip/spread for crudites if you're watching carbs. If you're not, it would be great on toasts even absent the tomatoes. But do yourself a favor and make the whole recipe! (For a quickie version of the cheese, labneh would work very well.)

                                                 
                                                 
                                                1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                  This looks beautiful and your mix of multi color tomatoes is nice-- great for summer-- Would be fun to make all yellow or orange separate from the red and have an assorted platter.

                                                2. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                  Cherry Tomato Crostini w/ Home-made Herbed Goat Cheese, pg 111

                                                  Made a batch of these for a family party this weekend. We liked them better than some of the guests. There are just some folks one shouldn't challenge with goat cheese. My SIL, dear though she is in other matters, isn't perhaps the most open minded soul when it comes to food.

                                                  Anyway, the roasted tomatoes reminded me very much of a similar sauce from D. "Leite's New Portuguese Table", which I think I liked slightly better; main difference being the addition of thinly sliced onion and a some lemon zest in the Leite recipe. But I did like the longer slower cooking in the Lebovitz approach.

                                                3. Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat, p. 220

                                                  A great use for the garlicky fat strained from what was left in the dish of my counterfeit confit!

                                                  The only difference between this recipe and the way I usually do potatoes in duck fat is that after briefly boiling the potatoes, draining, and drying, you cook them on the stove. (I usually do them in a super hot oven.)

                                                  They took me just under 15 minutes. Since the fat was already garlicky, I didn't add the minced garlic (which in my experience always burns). While these were delicious, they weren't nearly as crisp as they usually are. I like the idea of not turning on the oven just for these potatoes, but I wonder if that accounted for the softer result?

                                                   
                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: nomadchowwoman

                                                    Potatoes Cooked in Duck Fat, pg. 220

                                                    The upshot, these were OK, but nothing I'd be in a hurry to repeat. For one thing I'm not completely sold on the par-boiling technique (I get better results with raw potato + cold oil + very hot oven); and for another its really hard to keep the browning/crispy even stove top, at least for me, as you can see from this picture of the potatoes about 1/2 way through.

                                                     
                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                      I haven't made this particular recipe, but I agree with you 100%.

                                                  2. Fattoush, Pg. 116

                                                    This is in the realm of first courses however we had it as a side salad with pork burgers and sugar snap peas. Since I was using pita with the burgers instead of the usual buns, I didn't toast pita triangles per the recipe. All the ingredients were used except for the Little Gem lettuce. They were not to be found at the farm where we shopped or at any market, so we used hearts of romaine only. Excellent rendition of fattoush.

                                                    All the vegetables came straight from the farm to my kitchen so it tasted extraordinarily fresh. It's a combination of scallions, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, mint, radishes, S & P, sumac. The dressing is: lemon juice, S & P, garlic, Dijon mustard, EVOO. Everything tossed together then sprinkled with a little more sumac. Lovely.

                                                    We served it with kimchi pork burgers, a GretchenS recipe, and blanched sugar snap peas.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                      Fattoush, p. 116

                                                      I served this as a side for our fish last night. Like Gio, I left out the pita (as we'd just had mushrooms on ciabatta toasts as a starter). Baby romaine had to stand in for Little Gem lettuce, but the straight-from- the-farmer's market veggies and my just-picked herbs married beautifully with the lemony dressing and sumac. Very refreshing. I'm sure I'll be repeating this often.

                                                       
                                                    2. Baked Provençal Vegetables (Tian)

                                                      This is a pretty simple baked vegetable dish. You soften onion with garlic and thyme in a skillet, and spread that on the bottom of a baking dish. Then slices of eggplant, zucchini and tomato are arranged on top of that, drizzled with oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and some more thyme. This is baked covered with foil for 45 minutes, then some cheese is sprinkled on top. The recipe calls for Parmesan, Comté, or Emmenthal, but I used Gruyere. The dish is now baked for another 20-30 minutes.

                                                      This was fine, but we didn't love it. The vegetables tasted just a bit flat. I think I would have preferred them done in a long sauté, as we saw in Mediterranean Harvest, to concentrate the flavor, and maybe then baked with the cheese. Didn't take a picture of this one.

                                                      1. Panisse Puffs (Chick Pea Puffs) p. 245

                                                        As someone who is a disastrous baker, any baked bread I can throw together in one fell swoop, pour into a tin and have come out even reasonably well is breathtaking to me :) This requires chick pea flour and I bought a popover pan for them though you can use a muffin tin (they may not pop up as much)

                                                        Easy peasy and while mine did not look quite as gloriously puffed up as the photo in the book, we loved them all the same. They are earthier than a normal muffin and were terrific for dipping into the sauces of the Roast Lamb and Braised Vegetables on page 203.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Tom P

                                                          Oh, I can't wait to try these.

                                                        2. French Lentil Salad with goat cheese and walnuts p 233

                                                          An easy lovely lentil salad.

                                                          Lebowiz recommends Le Puy lentils-- I had a bag of Safeway brand in my pantry and used these-- This may have made a difference-- but everything was still good.

                                                          I also used shallots and some white onion- as i did not have the red onion--

                                                          I served this for lunch, warm with crumbled feta(an option he lists instead of goat) on the top with a green salad--in hind sight I could have served this on the salad and saved some of the dressing and used this for the greens.

                                                          The walnut oil and addition of toasted walnuts to the salad make the dish richer to your palate and less of a side and more of a meal-- and add crunchiness that is nice with the lentils.

                                                          I did not add the extra salt, and next time will add additional carrots for color , texture and flavor.

                                                          I am saving to use for the west of the week as a side-- and will let you know how it holds up-- supposed to last for a week.

                                                           
                                                           
                                                           
                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                            That is one gorgeous plate, and photo! I am making this tonight, it is in progress now (lentils and veg are cooling).

                                                            1. re: MelMM

                                                              Thanks-- put it in one of my favorite dishes to savor and take the pic...Let me know how it goes-- and if you add anything extra

                                                            2. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                              This one is on my list - and your picture makes it even more so. Gorgeous and mouth-watering.

                                                              I haven't had great luck with beans lasting more than a few days - just something to look out for.

                                                              1. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                                French Lentil Salad with goat cheese and walnuts, p. 233

                                                                I made this last night. I used the French green lentils, red onions, as directed. Went a little heavy on the carrots, but not by a lot. I used a homemade, raw milk chevre, that was just finished yesterday morning. I put the chevre on at the very last minute, and only on the portions that were served.

                                                                Last night, this was good, not great. I wanted more acid in the dressing. Or just more dressing. I have made similar salads that were better. Today, I had some of the leftovers (stored without the chevre added), warmed just to about room temp or slightly above, and then with the chevre added in at the last minute. The salad seems better today. I think I taste the walnuts and walnut oil more. Not exactly bold flavors here, but nice.

                                                                1. re: MelMM

                                                                  I agree on additional dressing.

                                                                2. re: Sfspicegirl

                                                                  French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts, Pg. 233

                                                                  Le Puy lentils are cooked in salted water with bay, thyme, diced carrots, red onion, and celery. After the lentils are drained they're mixed with a dressing of: red wine vinegar, salt, Dijon, walnut oil , minced shallot, pepper, [parsley & walnuts]. Finally, crumpled feta or goat cheese gets sprinkled over top. We decided to use feta cutting it up into cubes.

                                                                  I loved this salad. It was just what I imagined it would be, and I've made many lentil salads over the years. After reading other reports I doubled the dressing. That was key. I had to eliminate the parsley and walnuts because of a restriction for G this week. As soon as I can we'll have a repeat of this salad using those two ingredients.

                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                    Sorry to hear about G's restrictions, but glad to hear this works without the walnuts.

                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                      Thanks Q. It's only for this week, thank goodness. Let's just say it worked for me. He wasn't too crazy about the lentils.

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        I make something similar once every two weeks or so, without cheese or nuts. Love it with smoked trout or salmon mixed in as well. And lots of mustard. Great warm. Great cold. Great at room temperature.

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          I have a tin of smoked trout in the pantry. G will be on liquids tomorrow so I'll have that for dinner. In a corner, by myself. So he can't see. Right on time, you are, SMT! Thank you.

                                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                                            Update: The tin of smoked trout I thought was in the pantry turned out to be sardines in olive oil from Portugal. However, they and the lentil salad were absolutely delicious. And, yes, there was plenty of mustard. The sardines were layered on top of the lentils with daubs of mustard on the sardines - replenished as needed. Thanks for the inspiration, SMT!

                                                                3. Vegetable Soup with Basil Puree (Soupe au Pistou)

                                                                  I love soupe au pistou and have made versions from Ina, Julia, and Anthony Bourdain. This one is a touch different but generally quite good.

                                                                  I will begin my admitting that I have never cooked beans from dry except for the Hummus from the Jerusalem cookbook. DL would have you soak your beans then cook them for about an hour before adding the rest of the ingredients to the simmering water. As I used canned beans I modified things a touch. I sautéed the onions, garlic, carrots, and zucchini with a bit of oil, salt, and bay leaves until they had softened. I then added 3 litres of chicken stock (to replace his 3 litres of water) and a rind of parmesan. This simmered for about 20 or so minutes till my diced veggies had tenderized. I then added the suggested peas, pasta, and the beans to the soup and cooked for another 10 minutes or so.

                                                                  While this was bubbling away on the stove I made the pistou. DL calls for garlic, parmesan, olive oil, a tomato, salt, and basil. I had purchased a very large bunch (by Vancouver standards) of basil which it turns out only amounted to about 50 grams when it was picked. This is about half as much as he calls for, but since all the other ingredients were already in the processor I proceeded to incorporate the basil I had. The end result was definitely short on the basil, but still delicious. I have actually never used a tomato in pistou, but I found it added a nice touch of colour and flavour. On the whole I would say this pistou recipe is excellent and I would definitely repeat with the proper amount of basil. Also, I needed an extra tb of oil to loosen it up but this may have been due to the paucity of basil.

                                                                  Once the pistou and soup are done you add a generous spoon of pistou to each serving and mix it in. The result was very nice, with the distinct flavour of garlic and the other vegetables, but I would say the soup definitely relies on the pistou. I also found the beans and pasta added a nice toothsome note, without making the soup too stodgy. Overall I would say this compares well to other versions of soupe au pistou I have made. Not necessarily better, but just as good in many ways. I might suggest going with a bit less liquid, maybe 2 to 2.5 litres and a touch less pasta as this makes 6 pretty large servings and I personally don't like freezing or refrigerating pasta/bean soups since they thicken quite a bit as they sit. Also, despite the parm this soup needs a fair amount of salt to bring out all the flavours.

                                                                  1. French Fries, p. 219.

                                                                    So I didn't have particularly high hopes for these oven-fried French Fries, but I loved the photo and I had some russet potatoes in the pantry and I thought, "oh, just give it a try."

                                                                    And they were really quite delicious: crispy yet slightly chewy, and above all, flavorful with the oil and the large handful of whole sage leaves I mixed in according to DL's directions. Next time I will also include a big handful of the suggested thyme or rosemary as well, because the herbs add a lot and don't need to be minced or chopped--just bring 'em on.

                                                                    The prep is simple but you do need to give enough time for the soaking of the cut-up potatoes in ice-cold water for a least an hour. Mine relaxed in their icy bath for two hours. I guess that this aids in crisping the potatoes because they certainly were nicely browned.

                                                                    Basically you just cut up peeled russet potatoes into 1/3 inch-wide sticks, leaving a few strips of peel on for an attractive rustic look, then chill in ice water, and then dry them well and toss with olive oil and herbs (plus s & p.) Then bake in a 400 F oven for 40 - 50 minutes, turning occasionally. At first the potatoes seem oily and limp, but after about 35 minutes they begin to crisp and brown, and soon you can tell it's time to turn them into a bowl and dig in. They would go with most any entrée: grilled meat of course. I served them with baked bluefish and everyone had seconds of both. Very gratifying.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Goblin

                                                                      Glad you wrote this up. These sound good. I didn't even read the recipe when I flipped through the book. Will have to go back look at it.

                                                                      1. re: qianning

                                                                        Hi Qianning, I hope you do try this and report back. Two of my guests were children with LOTS of experience in french fries, and even they had seconds.

                                                                        1. re: Goblin

                                                                          We had them tonight, and liked them a lot. Can't remember the last time I made oven fries, but am sure these were better. Like you, we really enjoyed the sage leaves.

                                                                      2. re: Goblin

                                                                        Thanks for the review. I do make oven fries from time to time as my son only reliably eats potatoes in the form of "french fries." This sounds like a good recipe to try. I have found that even though it's not classic, I like to use Yukon Golds for oven fries. I just prefer the flavor.

                                                                        1. re: Westminstress

                                                                          HI Westminstress, I will try Yukon Golds next time. I wonder if the prolonged soaking in ice-cold water is something that russets need more than Yukon Golds? Don't know. It worked with the more starchy russets that I used.

                                                                      3. Dukkah-Roasted Caulflower, p. 224

                                                                        This is your basic roasted cauliflower (tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper) spiced up with dukkah, the ground toasted hazelnut, seed, and spice mix on p. 81, on which I'l report in the Appetizers thread. The cauliflower is roasted on its own for a while, then the dukkah is sprinkled on and everything is mixed about and roasting continues until the cauliflower is browned and dukkah toasty. I didn't use his timing or temperature, but just did what I usually do to roast cauliflower in my oven. I also didn't add salt initially, because my dukkah was a bit salty on its, own and the end result was well-enough seasoned, I thought.

                                                                        This felt like a bit of a no-brainer to try because a) I'm a happy camper eating roasted cauliflower seasoned with noting more than salt and pepper, and certainly have enjoyed it with whatever other spices I've tried as well; and b) this dukkah has a good amount of coriander seed (as well as other good things), and in recent years I have discovered that cauliflower and coriander seeds have a very strong affinity. As expected, it was very nice: roasted cauliflower + somewhat complex spice mix = good eating, and I essentially ate a big plate of it for dinner. Much enjoyed (even if I didn't utter an "Oh my God!" per Lebovitz's prediction), and will no doubt be repeated here with more of the jarful of dukkah now in my pantry.

                                                                        1. Grated Carrot Salad, p. 123.

                                                                          This is an easy, colorful, and quick dish to pull together, especially if you use a FP to grate your carrots. The ingredients are simple: grated carrots tossed with a simple vinaigrette composed of lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, s & p and a small amount of sugar or honey to tame the acidity. Plus a sprinkling of parsley, chervil, or chives to add some attractive color. DL also suggests the addition of grated raw beets or avocado if you want; this time I used only the carrots (mine were organic and very sweet) but I think avocado would be deliciously unctuous.

                                                                          You can see how simple this is. It's light, lemony, and somehow conveys the essence of carrots. Perfect for a summer picnic or barbecue, or to suggest summer's lease in the dead of winter. So simple that you almost wonder why he needed to include the recipe in his book, but I'm glad he did. It's going to appear again at my house.

                                                                          1. Tabbouleh, p. 95.

                                                                            This isn't your mother's tabbouleh--unless your mother happens to be Lebanese. It's extremely light on the fine wheat bulgur (a mere 2 TBS) and very heavy on the greens: 10 cups of flat-leaf parsley and 2 cups of mint leaves, all cut into chiffonade. Plus 3 sliced scallions and 2 diced tomatoes. All tossed with a subtle, flavorful vinaigrette made from the usual suspects (olive oil and lemon juice, s & p) but with the addition of a small amount of ground allspice and ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp apiece) and 1-2 tsp pomegranate molasses. This last is optional but I heartily recommend what it does to heighten the flavor of the salad. I liked everything about the dressing except that it sort of disappeared amongst all the foliage.

                                                                            And a large amount it is. Too large, IMHO. One finds oneself champing and champing at mouthfuls of parsley and mint, thinking that perhaps four stomachs ISN'T too many. In case you couldn't tell, I wasn't crazy about the mouth-feel of all that raw greenery and the dressing wasn't really copious enough to make a dent in it. The bulgur wheat disappeared entirely.

                                                                            I can imagine making this again, with an increased amount of fine bulgur wheat and a decreased amount of parsley and mint, along with this nice dressing. Maybe some chopped cucumber, too.