Vegetarian & Vegan

Vegetarian & Vegan2018-02-18T09:34:57+00:00

After 12 years at the helm of the food department of a vegetarian magazine, I would say over half of my recipes are (naturally) vegetarian or vegan. It’s just the way I cook now. While I’m not veg myself, I will always be a staunch defender of plant-based choices…starting with giving them a clear shout-out on this blog.



Winter Vegetable Couscous Stew

Winter Vegetable Couscous Stew This Moroccan-style couscous stew is great for weeknights because it can be made with any vegetables you have on hand. Even better the next day [...]

January 21st, 2021|2 Comments

Sage Pesto

In my garden (if you can call 3 large planters a garden), there is never enough basil and always too much sage. Ergo: Sage pesto. The secret to using sage - or any other non- [...]

May 6th, 2020|0 Comments

Small Batch Ginger Nuts

Ginger nuts are a British cookie/biscuit that are made with golden syrup, a thick, sweet liquid that keeps them tender. Because not everyone has access to golden syrup (thoug [...]

March 31st, 2020|0 Comments

Quince Jelly (for jelly novices)

There are few kitchen tasks as rewarding as making quince jelly. Some fruit, some water, some sugar; a strainer, a saucepan, a hot burner…and then the magic happens. First th [...]

October 24th, 2019|0 Comments

Quince 101

Quince can be a hard sell because…well, everything about quince is hard. The fruit itself isn’t just firm, like a pumpkin. It is dense and murder-weapon hard. (It could easil [...]

October 17th, 2019|2 Comments

Single-Rise Moroccan Bread

This is the homemade bread recipe for people (like me) who don’t just *love* bread baking. It is easy. It exceeds my expectations for shape, texture, and flavor. The dusky, d [...]

October 9th, 2019|0 Comments

Santiago Almond Cake

Once in a very rare while, a recipe found via internet search resonates in such a way that it seems Fate has guided the algorithms and web crawlers to bring it to you. That’s [...]

April 19th, 2019|0 Comments

Bright, Light Sorrel Soup

Sorrel’s lemony taste makes it a springtime (well, anytime for me) herb favorite. The flavor’s a little like rhubarb (to which it is related) only milder and more palatable. [...]

April 13th, 2019|1 Comment

Rhubarb Tart with Fresh Goat Cheese

I have found the secret to the universe, and it is 8 oz. (200 g.) of fresh goat cheese and 2 eggs. Yes, that is an exaggeration, but when an easy-to-remember ingredient combi [...]

April 8th, 2019|0 Comments

Extra-Buttery Crust Dough

All credit for this ultra-buttery, easy-to-work-with dough goes to my friend Donna Meadows, the best pastry chef I know. In addition to being extra rich and flaky without any [...]

April 7th, 2019|0 Comments

My All-Time Favorite Chocolate Cake

Dense, rich, not too sweet...this is the chocolate cake I have requested for my birthday ever since I can remember. The original version (more on this distinction below) is c [...]

March 28th, 2019|3 Comments

What to Do with Sour Milk

I can’t stop talking about sour milk—and how wonderful it is to bake with. I have been dallying with the concept of cooking with sour milk since reading this line from food w [...]

March 22nd, 2019|0 Comments

(Irish) Scones

I’m taking the liberty of calling these ‘Irish Scones’ after they got the ‘Just like my Granny’s!’ seal of approval from my Irish friend Janet. (I also think of them as Irish [...]

March 15th, 2019|1 Comment

Preserved Lemon Yogurt (or Labneh) Dip

When I made a big batch of preserved lemons last spring, I wondered how I’d ever use them all up. Now that I have discovered this preserved lemon labneh/yogurt dip, I worry I [...]

March 12th, 2019|1 Comment

Prasopita (Spanakopita with Leeks)

Here’s a new Greek food term for you (well, for me): Prasopita. Leek (praso) pie (pita). I found it while googling ‘spanakopita with leeks’—which is what I’d just made using [...]

March 2nd, 2019|0 Comments

Creamy (Black) Radish Soup

Black radishes may not be the biggest, brightest item on winter markets in Brittany, but nearly every vegetable stand has a small pile of bent, misshapen dark roots with shor [...]

February 24th, 2019|6 Comments

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

Persimmon Pudding

The recipes for persimmon pudding I’ve come across are all very enticing to food historians. They go on and on about its old-fashionedness, its popularity in Indiana (There’s [...]

December 9th, 2018|2 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

Baked (or Roasted) Camembert

Baking camembert in the oven turns it into a tasty fondue for two. When it comes to cheese, I’m with Cole Porter…and camembert is the top. (Scroll to the end of the post for [...]

December 2nd, 2018|0 Comments

Sloe Gin Kir Royal

Sloe gin replaces the traditional crème de cassis in the iconic French aperitif. This one falls in the category of ‘Why didn’t I think of it before?’ I love the idea of sloe [...]

November 26th, 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

Apple Tarte Normande

The French apple tart most people have heard of is la tarte Tatin, a caramelized upside-down creation that is the stuff of culinary legend. Less attention is paid to la tarte [...]

November 14th, 2018|0 Comments

Sweet Potato Soup with Amchoor

Like kale, sweet potatoes have now made it in France. Not all that long ago, I used to have to hunt for the tubers at Thanksgiving, cruising the ‘exotic’ sections at large su [...]

November 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Quince Cordial (Quince Brandy)

Quince can be a tough sell. Peeling quince (a very firm, sweet-smelling fruit that looks like a cross between an apple and a pear) is wrist-aching work, cutting it open is ak [...]

November 7th, 2018|6 Comments

Whole Apple Applesauce

The very best applesauce is made with whole apples. This I discovered when making apple butter. The process calls for cooking quartered, unpeeled apples—cores, seeds and all— [...]

November 3rd, 2018|1 Comment

Just-Sweet-Enough Granola

Most granolas are really just dessert disguised as breakfast food—something I learned when I made granola for the first time in a hipster New York City bakery and saw how muc [...]

October 26th, 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

Turmeric-Cauliflower Cream Soup

A half of a small head of cauliflower (found in the back of my fridge), some onion and garlic, a potato for creaminess and just the right amount of turmeric and…Presto! A rad [...]

October 16th, 2018|5 Comments

Goat Cheese and Olive Spread

This is one of those recipes to be filed under the ‘Why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-before?’ category. I have loved cream cheese and olive spread ever since I first tasted it in s [...]

October 9th, 2018|0 Comments

Catalan Tomato Bread

Pan con tomate/pa amb tomaquet, literally bread with tomato, is a rustic tomato toast from Catalonia (in northern Spain...Barcelona is the capital) that popped up on my radar [...]

August 7th, 2018|0 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

Caprese Polenta Stacks

Caprese salad – that super-simple, utterly addictive Italian combination of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil is such a big part of the French summer food experience that it’s p [...]

June 10th, 2018|0 Comments

Rhubarb Tarte Tatin

Take two classic French tarte recipes and what do you get? This rhubarb tarte tatin, which is so very easy... and effortlessly beautiful. The French are BIG rhubarb fans. The [...]

June 4th, 2018|2 Comments

Chocolate Biscuit Cake

When my friend Elodie asked for a recipe that would use up leftover Easter candy, I knew just what I wanted to make: Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Chocolate biscuit cake got a lot [...]

April 22nd, 2018|2 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

Teurgoule (Norman Rice Pudding)

What is the matter with Mary Jane? She's crying with all her might and main, And she won't eat her dinner - rice pudding again - What is the matter with Mary Jane? From ‘Rice [...]

March 21st, 2018|2 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

Ballymaloe’s Irish Soda Bread

If there is one thing you should make (or learn to make) for Saint Patrick’s Day, it is Irish Soda Bread. In fact, you should make (or learn to make) Irish soda bread, period [...]

March 17th, 2018|0 Comments

Green Rhubarb Lattice Pie

As I do my best to get through the hungry gap, I’ve been digging into my freezer to see what treasures I stashed there last summer. And….score!! Two pounds of frozen rhubarb [...]

March 14th, 2018|0 Comments

Harissa-Spiked (Sunshine) Squash Soup

In Ireland and the British Isles, they call this time of year ‘the hungry gap’ –those turning-point weeks when winter vegetables have passed their prime but spring produce ha [...]

March 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Homemade Ginger Beer

Two ginger beer bottles. On the right, a heavy, well-worn, barnacled specimen dredged from the deep off Saint-Malo... a little research showed to be a ginger beer bottle from [...]

February 17th, 2018|0 Comments

Zhoug (It’s better than pesto!)

No, that’s not pesto slathered all over a baked sweet potato, it’s zhoug, a spicy Yemeni herb paste made with parsley and cilantro that’s popular throughout the Middle East. [...]

February 12th, 2018|0 Comments

Secret Soup Saver

Another blustery day, another batch of soup. Tout simple: leeks, squash, some garlic, and a single potato. That combo usually works just fine for a weekday soup, but this tim [...]

February 9th, 2018|0 Comments

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

Vegetable Pot-au-Feu

Pot au feu, the French version of pot roast, is eaten in two stages. First, the cooking broth is ladled into bowls to be sipped or spooned as a first course. Then, the meat a [...]

January 15th, 2018|3 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

Caldo Verde

Caldo verde, a Portuguese soup made with sausage, potatoes, and collards (or kale, in my version) is peasant food at its finest: simple, fragrant, and filling. I cannot stop [...]

December 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Chestnut Bisque

This soup is born out of a restaurant disappointment. It was a fancy restaurant, too, one of those places in the US where they charge over $10 for a bowl of what is basically [...]

December 12th, 2017|3 Comments

Spice (Nutmeg) Crinkles

Tender and buttery, this old-fashioned snickerdoodle cookie recipe is ideal for trying out new flavors like nutmeg in baked goods. Cardamom, long pepper, and black pepper can [...]

December 7th, 2017|0 Comments

Lemony Lemon Cake

...because you can never have too much lemon in a dessert. Little motivates me more than a dessert that should have been better than it was. It wasn’t even a complicated cake [...]

November 11th, 2017|0 Comments

Le Financier (Almond Tea Cake)

Everybody’s always going on about macarons and madeleines, but if you ask me, the real superstar of the small pastry world is “le financier." Financiers (pronounced fee-nahn- [...]

November 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Wine-Poached Pears

Now that I've worked out this recipe, my goal is to have wine-poached pears in my fridge all winter long so that I can serve them and cook with them regularly, the way I did [...]

November 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Almond Croissants

There is nothing worse—and nothing better—than day-old croissants. Nothing worse, because each chewy, slightly stale bite of a day-old croissant is a reminder of how good the [...]

November 2nd, 2017|1 Comment

Homemade Apple Butter

Each year, I make more. I have not yet reached the apple butter output of nearby villages in Brittany where le pommé (the local term for apple butter) is simmered and stirred [...]

October 30th, 2017|0 Comments

Breton Buckwheat-Apple Cake

It is so very, very rare that a recipe one imagines turns out just right the very first time that it’s important to call it out, celebrate it, tell everyone about it. ‘Cause [...]

October 17th, 2017|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

Creamy 3-Ingredient Zucchini Soup

It has been a week of last-of’s. The last of the garden peaches. The last of the cherry tomatoes. The last of the shell beans. And now, the last of the eggplant and zucchini. [...]

October 6th, 2017|0 Comments

Sunflower Seed Pesto

Looks like it’s time to harvest the basil in my container garden before the bugs do. This is the first year in Cancale that I’ve actually had a crop of basil worth harvesting [...]

September 28th, 2017|2 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

Spiced Puff Pastry Twists

Since Cancale is the hometown of chef and master spice blender Olivier Roellinger, I end up with quite a few of his spice mixes blends in my cupboard at any given time. Some [...]

August 24th, 2017|0 Comments

Real Brownies

I would have KILLED to have had this brownie recipe when I first arrived in France. Back in the dark ages before internet shopping gave expats access to Reese’s Peanut Butter [...]

August 22nd, 2017|0 Comments

Homemade Fruit Jam

I have a little problem with large quantities of fruit for sale. I see them, and I must have them—for jam, natch. Nevermind that a 5-pound flat of strawberries will make thre [...]

August 18th, 2017|1 Comment

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

For the past four summers, I’ve been doing cooking demonstrations at a local farmers’ market. The conditions are lovely—extraordinarily good produce, cheese, meats, and cider [...]

August 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Wild Plum Compote

I have been wracking my brain for a way to make ‘compote’ sound sexy. Exciting. Like something you want to jump out of your chair and make immediately. And I keep coming up w [...]

August 2nd, 2017|2 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

Farfalle with Fresh Peas and Zucchini

Pasta, fresh peas, and lashings of grated cheese…that’s the kind of supper you want on an evening when the rain blows in and brings with it a 20-degree temperature drop at th [...]

June 9th, 2017|0 Comments

Savory French Toast Tartines

It has been a busy couple of weeks since I was last able to shop for food. Good-busy, with lots of eating out and seeing friends, but bad-busy in the sense that a lot of food [...]

June 2nd, 2017|1 Comment

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

Homemade Custard

This is the pitcher I picked up at an antique gallery (Christian La Brocante) in nearby Saint-Coulomb. I say ‘picked up’ because when I went to pay for it (for a mere 2 euros [...]

May 12th, 2017|4 Comments

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|4 Comments

Marc’s Chocolate Custard Tart

One of the bright spots during an otherwise dark time in my cooking career was working with Marc, a pastry chef from Tours. Marc had been brought into the French bakery/resta [...]

May 4th, 2017|0 Comments

Wild Garlic Spanish Tortilla

How can so few people in Brittany (or at least my part of Brittany) know about three-cornered leeks? Until my recent (as in, 2 minutes ago) internet search I’ve been calling [...]

April 26th, 2017|1 Comment

Rhubarb Muffins

Still reeling from the jacked-up rhubarb prices in the US, (FIVE DOLLARS A POUND! That’s almost as much as organic strawberries—for a perennial that grows like a weed whereve [...]

April 20th, 2017|0 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|3 Comments

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

Spicy Gingerbread

When and why did gingerbread get pigeonholed as a *strictly* holiday treat? Sure, I get that all things gingerbread are a holiday tradition, but must that mean that they vani [...]

March 16th, 2017|3 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

Red Pepper Soup with Crispy Chickpeas

 Perhaps it is my straitened circumstances after losing my job when my longtime food editing gig ended in December. Perhaps it is the exorbitant prices I am paying for only h [...]

February 7th, 2017|1 Comment

Cooking Laurie Colwin

"If you do not have insomnia, fussy eaters in your social orbit will give it to you." Laurie Colwin “Feeding the Fussy” Home Cooking Oh, how that line of Laurie Colwin’s spea [...]

January 15th, 2017|0 Comments

Gingery Pumpkin Bread

The first time I made pumpkin bread in France was for an English class I taught in a sunny ground floor room of a small town community center. The class ran from 2:30 to 4 in [...]

December 22nd, 2016|0 Comments

Tempest Day Tomato Soup

There’s a tempest blowing out there and since the winds are from the South, the whole house fairly shakes with it. “Blustery” doesn’t even come close to describing a true Bre [...]

November 28th, 2016|2 Comments

Bruschetta Toasts

I have something of a reputation for accepting—nay, wanting—food items my neighbors would otherwise throw away or not know what to do with. Bruised apples, overripe plums, be [...]

November 28th, 2016|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
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