Monthly Archives: August 2011

16 August, 2011 12:07

My macrobiotic and sun-filled journey ends today and to set me off, bushy-tailed and bright-eyed, I’ve ordered one last juice!
I give you this as a heath treat- since this was the juice we have been served as a rejuvenating elixir every morning. It s fresh and lovely!

One apple
A handful of clean chard leaves (bettes En français
A chunk of daikon or Japanese radish

Put it all in a juicer and drink chilled.
With best wishes for health and energy over the summer! I for one feels fantastic and wonderfully relaxed after this retreat: wiser and healthier to tackle the return homeward…

Shredded roasted kale, full of Popeye’s iron

This lovely way with kale is so childishly simple that I am reluctantly sharing it – it is hardly a recipe and I feel like a bit of a cheat but I have to include it in this blog for the simple reason that it is one of the vegetable dishes I cook most often and eat with most pleasure!

Ingredients and method : One shredded cabbage or kale or any dark green leafy cabbagey thing! Spread into a roasting dish, add a sprinkle of sea salt, a line of olive oil and roast under the grill for 10 min or until the tips turn brown. Shake it and then grill some more, making sure not to burn it! It’s quick!                                                          Enjoy as a side dish with any roasted meat.

Velvet smooth courgette bake

Summer is a time for enjoying all the wonderful mediterranean vegetables that we don’t tend to get for the rest of the year. I try and make use of the seasonal cornucopia of tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes and others as much as I can!

Enjoying the summer tastes and building sandcastles!

Here I give you a family recipe that has delighted us for generations with its simplicity and rich taste:

Ingredients list:

  • 4 big courgettes
  • Creme fraiche 125 ml
  • Milk 60ml
  • egg 1
  • Grated Emmental 100g
  • Pepper
  • Pancetta

Take 4 beautiful  courgettes, rince and slice them in half.

Steam or boil them briefly until slightly tender but not fully cooked.

Slice them thinly and lay the slices into a buttered dish.

Cover the first few slices with a few spoonfuls of cream and a bit of grated cheese and layer the dish until you run out of ingredients. Best to use quite a deep dish and not too large, like a tureen for meat loaf or patés for example.

Beat the whole egg in a glass of milk and and pour over the top. Add cubes of pancetta and ground pepper to taste. You can sprinkle the top with Parmesan if you don’t eat pork. I never use salt here because of the cheese!

Bake on medium heat for 35 minutes until it is properly roasted and very soft, and you can serve it with a spoon. Guaranteed to please everybody including those who think they have no taste for courgettes! How deluded…

Dunes and kite surfers at L'Espiguette

This was the view last week and the location of a great “cousins” picnic, on what is officially for me the most beautiful beach in the world: Our sea to the South, Camargue to the North and the foothills of the Cevennes dreamily appearing to the East in ghostlike shadows…


This was my weekend…

A gin and tonic bath at Battersea Foodies fair
“I can resist everything except temptation!” Oscar Wilde – a passionate Englishman and a living oxymoron…

Lavender ice-cream to cool off the heat!

When I was a student on holiday, I once made this lavender ice-cream for a whole summer and so I offer this recipe to the friends who used to share it! This is for Caroline, Elise, Noheed, Anne-Laure, Pauline and everybody else who remembers. And of course for my “fellow foodie friend” Tina who shared the newest batch yesterday afternoon in my garden. Lavender aroma is a truly calming and balancing food so this is much more than ice-cream…

Ingredients list:

  • Whole milk 330ml
  • Vanilla pod slit in 2
  • Golden sugar (or brown) 50g
  • Set honey 70g
  • Egg yolks 4
  • Double cream 300ml
  • Lavender sprigs 5 to 8 (with flowers!)

    lavender ice-cream spoon

First gather some fresh lavender or ask friends with gardens if they have any!

Put the milk in a pan with the honey and vanilla and bring to just below boiling temperature. Whilst watching the level, make a whisk with the sprigs of lavender and use it to shake the milk about. Leave it to simmer but still watching it intently because you don’t want any bubbles lest the milk should curdle.

Beat the yolks with the sugar.

When the milk is very hot but not boiling yet, pour it into the yolks whilst whisking or panning with a wooden spoon.

Add the cream and blend in well.

Leave it covered to infuse- with the lavender still in- for a few hours or a whole night.

With a cheese clothe and a sieve, strain the cream into a clean container, making sure you squeeze all of the fragrance out and end up with a vanilla coloured, perfectly smooth cream.

When it is cold – I keep it one night in the fridge- you can then use your ice-cream maker or any other favourite method to freeze it. I swear by mine: it was one of the best wedding present ever and it makes a velvety ice-cream in under half-hour… But my sister-in-law Anne-Laure uses a container in her freezer and it works well too.

Enjoy with biscuits or lavender muffins!

Tasting notes: The vanilla puts a lid on the more floral lavender tones so this stays subtle and doesn’t smell like cheap Eau de toilette! You can adapt this recipe to use other herbs such as rosemary or thyme.

My friend Line makes a splendid tarragon version…

Instead of labelling your container, use a sprig inside!