One of the great things about staying at a friend's house, as opposed to a hotel, was that we got to cook a lot! So, for this post, I would like to share with you all the things we cooked, plus a couple of little picnic-type assembled meals. We tended towards light salads, to balance out all the pastries we'd be eating! The recipes mainly came from the breathtaking Ottolenghi cookbook (which I have now ordered, because it's amazing), with a bit from Bill Granger and Gwyneth Paltrow (yes, really - and it was actually quite good!) Ok, allons-y!
Day 1, Breakfast: Bill Granger's Peachy French Toast
Day 1, Lunch: Cucumber and Poppyseed Salad; Grilled Aubergines with Saffron Yoghurt; Bread and Cheese
Both salads were from the Ottolenghi cookbook, whilst the bread and cheese were just assembled.
Half a loaf of Bauernbrot, a tub of Kochkäse (both brought from Germany), and a little wedge of Brillat-Savarin that we bought at a local fromagerie.
How beautiful are the colours? The salad comprises grilled eggplant slices, topped with a garlicky, saffron-infused yoghurt, toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and basil leaves. It was so delicious!
Day 2, Lunch: Grilled peach, prosciutto and watercress salad; Sweet potato and goats cheese galette
This meal (again, from Ottolenghi) was a team effort: I was in charge of grilling the peaches, Sandra chopped the herbs and Clarice made the gallettes!
Lunch, Day 3: Baguette, Pâté, Cheese
This was, clearly, not something we cooked, but rather a little picnic lunch we had in the Jardin de Luxembourg: duck pâté, blue cheese and baguette. Miam miam.
Day 3, Dinner: Fig, goats cheese and watercress salad with honey dressing; Broad bean and radish salad with green tahini
More Ottolenghi goodness!
I don't think you can go wrong with fresh figs, fresh watercress and good quality honey and goats cheese.
The radish and broad bean salad was easily my favourite of the lot. I love broad beans but never cook with them as they're a bit of a pain to pod and shell, so I always think of them as a special treat. Luckily, Picard sold high quality broad beans, already podded and shelled - yay! The salad is served with a green tahini: a mixture of tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic and parsley. I love tahini, so obviously loved the sauce, and it adds a bit of extra protein and vitamins to the dish - lovely!
Day 4, Lunch: Leftovers
The recipe for the bruschetta comes from Nigella's Feast, and was fabulous! Nigella says to use fresh broad beans, but we found that the frozen ones, cooked briefly in boiling water, worked just fine.
The main course was a salmon salad from the Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook - it included rare salmon, lettuce, beetroot, cherry tomatoes, griddled corn and spring onions dressed in a lime vinaigrette. It was fantastic! A pleasant surprise!
I was surprised by how delicious the peanut butter chips tasted by themselves, and we did more than a few little taste tests! I really have to make the Magnolia Bakery peanut butter fudge brownies again, this time with proper peanut butter chips on the top!
Scooping out the dough...
... and baked!