We are living through a great age for vegetables (to purloin an expression from Jane Austen’s Persuasion.) Local growers expand their crops to include both heirloom and exotic vegetables, clever cooks are coming up with things like cauliflower rice, and star chefs (Alain Passard!) are treating them as more than just side dishes or garnishes.


Bring Back Le Bricolin!

Long before kale got its cult following in France, Brittany had le bricolin. Also called cow or rabbit cabbage (chou à vache, chou à lapin) because it was mostly grown to fee [...]

February 20th, 2019|0 Comments

Sautéed Sea Beets (Wild Spinach)

On a gray low-light winter day, the only thing that stood out on my regular walk were the deep green tufts of sea beets that cluster around a certain curve of the coast. The [...]

January 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

Caramelized Fennel and Carrot Soup

Carrots for color, fennel for flavor, this five-ingredient soup tastes like braised fennel in a bowl. Fennel is a vegetable I find hard to describe to those not familiar with [...]

December 7th, 2018|0 Comments

Butternut Squash Spoonbread

This is one of those recipes that defied all my hopes and expectations—mainly because I defied just about everything I read about how to make it online. While doodling around [...]

November 21st, 2018|0 Comments

Basic French Potage

If there is one French recipe that everyone in the whole wide world should learn to make, it is potage, the blended vegetable soup that was once the start to every supper in [...]

October 19th, 2018|4 Comments

Persian Cucumber Soup with Mint

I have been making this soup for exactly twenty years. Exactly. How do I know this? Because I made my first version for it during the 1998 World Cup (when France also won). I [...]

July 24th, 2018|1 Comment

Elodie’s (Easy) Tian

The tians (pronounced tee-ahn) I’ve tasted in France have all been simple, meltingly tender swirls, rows, or stacks of summer vegetables cooked with some garlic, a few herbs [...]

July 23rd, 2018|0 Comments

Preserved Lemons

All winter long (and it was indeed a long winter), I meant to preserve some citrus. I had grand schemes for jars of curds and grapefruit jam, homemade marmalade if I could fi [...]

April 19th, 2018|0 Comments

Ranch Dressing Chez Moi

Living abroad for an extended period of time inevitably means missing—and craving—many foods you once took for granted. Many wouldn’t even make your top ten list of favorite [...]

March 21st, 2018|0 Comments

Why is my rhubarb green?

I will never dispute the superior quality of the rhubarb I buy from *my* vegetable stand at the farmers’ market in Saint-Malo, but I’ve always found its color disappointing. [...]

March 14th, 2018|1 Comment

Mushroom Broth (with stems and ends)

Why toss out the brown ends and tough stems of those mushrooms you use when turning them into a rich, flavorful broth is as simple as setting them to boil in some water for a [...]

February 6th, 2018|0 Comments

Sizzled Spinach with Crispy Shallots

One vegetable that has seem to have fallen by the wayside in the US is fresh spinach. I’m not talking about baby spinach which is ubiquitous enough. I mean the deep-green, la [...]

January 11th, 2018|0 Comments

Leek Green Champ

Because leeks are so very costly per pound in the US, it pains me, PAINS ME, to throw away leek tops the way most French cooks do. I’ll do it if I absolutely have to—say, whe [...]

October 8th, 2017|3 Comments

Heirloom Tomatoes Provençal

The last of the heirloom tomatoes deserve a special send-off, something that sets them smack in the center of the plate and showcases them in all their funny-shaped, juicy gl [...]

September 27th, 2017|0 Comments

Herbes de Provence

In France, I swear by Ducros, the supermarket brand of herbes de Provence. The balance of herbs is nigh on perfect—not too pungent, not too bitter, not too floral (the occasi [...]

July 31st, 2017|0 Comments

Slow Cooker Ratatouille

I know, I know, I just posted a ratatouille recipe earlier this week, but why wait to share another one when we’ve ALL got gobs of summer vegetables around right now? (A neig [...]

July 29th, 2017|2 Comments

Really Rustic Ratatouille

—So, how do you make your ratatouille? This is the question I ask anytime anyone in France tells me they’re making ratatouille (a vegetable dish from the South of France made [...]

July 26th, 2017|0 Comments

Quick-Pickled Samphire

For as much as foragers and foodies seem to love samphire, there isn’t a whole lot of choice out there when it comes to preparing it. The same two methods always seem to turn [...]

July 5th, 2017|0 Comments

Soy-Sesame Marinated Asparagus

Oh…the happy discoveries a lazy cook can sometimes make! I put together this sauce to go with steamed asparagus for a radio segment I did on Saturday morning. (If you want to [...]

May 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Asparagus Avgolemono Soup

It all started with trying to find a way to use the woody, fibrous ends of the asparagus I’ve been getting at the market in Saint-Malo this spring. The tips and stalks are in [...]

May 17th, 2017|1 Comment

Tender, Tomato-ey Braised Radish Tops

Here’s how much I love the way I’ve found to prepare radish leaves (and turnip and any other leafy-topped root vegetable): I actually bought FOUR bunches of radishes at the m [...]

May 11th, 2017|2 Comments

Wild Nettle Soup

If ever there was an easy plant to forage in France it’s [stinging] nettles. They are EVERYWHERE—and often where you don’t want them to be, like just under a flowering apple [...]

April 18th, 2017|1 Comment

Okra à la Cross Creek

"Have ready boiling, lightly salted water. Choose only tiny, very young fresh okra pods. Do not cut off stem end because you trust me. Drop whole pods in rapidly boiling wate [...]

April 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Braised Celery Hearts

When I get into a work groove on the computer, I often crave something to munch on to…um… “fuel” my inspiration. Or that’s the excuse I give myself for my at-the desk nibblin [...]

February 21st, 2017|1 Comment

Artichoke Tapenade

1 13.75 oz. can artichoke bottoms or frozen artichoke bottoms prepared according to package directions 1 10-oz. jar artichoke hearts preserved in oil, drained, oil reserved 2 [...]

November 24th, 2016|0 Comments