Three peeled pears, cut in half
240 g dandelion leaves
7 tb extra virgin olive oil
3 chopped cloves garlic
1 large bunch arugula
Bake pear pieces at 200C for 8 minutes. Let them cool. Meanwhile, warm oil at medium heat and cook garlic for 30 seconds. Add dandelions for 5 minutes. Mix everything together!
Vinaigrette: 80 ml olive oil, 5 tb balsamic vinegar, 2 tb honey, salt and pepper.
– Les bonnes salades du monastere
By now, the blush is off barbecuing, because real BBQers started heating it up in March. But come July, a burger is a burger, n’est-ce pas? The same old seared meat is getting a bit dull. The chef needs some new ideas.
Or perhaps – you poor soul – you don’t even own a BBQ? Steven Raichlen’s French-language cookbook, Barbecue d’Interieur (2005), is just the brisket, uhm, the ticket.
The recipes in this guide are specially created for people who grill inside – apartment dwellers who can’t fit a BBQ on the fire escape, or just people who prefer to be comfy inside while preparing supper. This is the perfect cookbook for you.
But the food ideas can easily be transferred to a traditional BBQ, just pay attention while you’re cooking to make sure nothing turns to charcoal.
Crusty polenta, duck, sweet-n-salty pork, corn on the cob with soy and sesame, and a grilled sandwich of cream cheese, cranberry and chicken. Plus lots of seafood ideas and suggestions to zip up those burgers.
There are bacon recipes, also (check out the index at the back). Hint: choose your favourite meat or vegetable. Add bacon.
There’s a separate section on spice mixes and marinades (chipotle mayo, basil and lemon butter). Plus desserts – grill that pineapple!
Your grilled eats will need sides. Or perhaps you need a brief break from the BBQ altogether. Farmers’ markets have sprouted all over the Townships, delivering great mounds of crispy veggies. Les Bonnes Salades Du Monastere, ideas collected up by Frere Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourrette (2006), offers filling salads as main courses, based on the meals served at his monastery in New York State.
The recipes are broken down into what’s available in his garden month by month. There’s veggies, fruit, pasta, cheese and even lentil options.
If you have a lawn, get the kids (yours or a neighbour’s) to pick the dandelion leaves and make a leaf-and-lettuce salad (add bacon to taste). That salad is in the April chapter, but those darned things seem to flower every six weeks or so in the Townships. There are other options in May, one of which is reprinted at the top of this column, as well as more weed salads for June and October. Check the index at the back for yet more if the kids got a little carried away.
Test out the various vinaigrettes and hold on to the (easy) recipes. (There is something to be said for a Roquefort vinaigrette. Especially when cream is involved.)
We’re overwhelmed with fruit and veggies these days. Try the Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook, by the editors of Vegetarian Times (1995) for soups, main dishes and snacks (many require turning on the oven or a burner, however).
And of course there are more salads and vinaigrettes here, in case you’re craving. Greens with avocado and pear (on page 192) sounds marvelously decadent.
Good Reads is off to test taste. In a show of wild, stubborn independence, some bacon may be added.
– Eleanor Brown, July 5, 2013