Category Archives: side dish

fresh and crunchy raw vegetables for all next semester!


When I think about it salad doesn’t appeal to me. I imagine somme watery and old lettuce or unrecognisable veggie under tons of mayonnaise. Of course nothing compares to a freshly picked lettuce with some great seasoning; not what you find in supermarkets! I’m more tempted by raw vegetables that would be crunchy and fresh. It always satisfy my appetite.

Today, two examples very simple to make and delicious right now that the days are beginning to shorten, the evening are becoming chilly and nights and mornings are getting cold.

But I’m not yet ready to dive into auutumn just yet, so to accompany a bowl of miso soup, a plate of steamy risotto or a slice of very good bread with a bit of salty butter, I choose those two ideas.

The first one is inspired by a friend from Chili. She makes it with white cabbage, lime and fresh coriander. Here is my version with what I had on hand!


Press 1 pink grapefruit and keep the meat that detaches from it (although try to leave the little inside skin away) and press 2 lemons . Thinly cut 1 pointed cabbage, either with a mandoline (vegetable slicer) or a very good knife. Cut 2 avocados in half, take the pit out and peel the fruits as you would oranges. Cut the avocados in thin slices then in chunks.

In a salad bowl, put the grapefruit meat, the avocados, then pour a generous amount of the citrus juice. Add the cabbage, a bit of olive oil and some salt. Mix delicately.

It’s delicious with grilled meat on a BBQ, slow cooked fish, hot tofu… For the version from Chili, use lime instead of lemon and grapefruit and add minced fresh coriander.

The second recipe:


I recieved about 2 kilos of beetroot from generous friends who have a very beautiful garden. Beetroot seem to have enjoy the summer weather, so there are a LOT af it! I need to find ways to cook them that won’t bore the family after two meals. I prefer raw beetroot as the cooked version (except in a red velvet chocolatey cake) as I find it less earthy and more sugary. besides I love the crunchy feel of beets under my teeth.

With a mandoline (vegetable slicer), I make very thin and supple slices of beetroot. I sesaon it simply:                                         2-3 tbsp of olive oil                                                                                                                                                                     1 tbsp of apple vinegar                                                                                                                                                               a dozen roughly minced hazelnut                                                                                                                                                some salt 

Yesterday that salad accompanied some patties made with tuna, goat cheese and oat flakes. It’s great with a piece of cheese like Comté or with quinoa mixed with fresh herbs such as young spinach, parsley and chervil. You can replace half the olive oil with hazelnut oil.

May those two easy recipes accompany you through autumn and winter!

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versatile carrot custard

There are flavored custard, easy to make, that’ll make everyone eat carrots!

I prepare them in mini cocottes, it’s so cute and so much fun comparing to classic white ramekin.

You won’t need a lot of ingredients and is super versatile.

I’ll give you the basic recipe that I got from a French book “mes MINI avec Le Creuset” from Julie Andrieu but I couldn’t resist twisting it in many ways! 

600g washed and peeled carrots

2 peeled and minced shallots

3 eggs

4 tbsp of sour cream (cow or soy)

1 tbsp olive oil

a few sprigs of chives

salt, pepper

tomato coulis

Preheat the oven at 210°C.

Melt the shallots in a frying pan until lightly golden.

Cut the carrots in thin slices and steam them for about 15 minutes until tender.

Mix the carrots with 4 tbsp of the cooking water and season with salt and pepper.

Beat the eggs with olive oil, sour cream, half the chives.

Add the carrot mix, half the shallots and rectify the seasonning (if you don’t want to taste it raw, cook a spoonful in a pan).

Divide the mix in the mini cocottes. Put in the oven and cook 15 minutes. Down the temperature to 180°C and cook 15 more minutes.

Leave to cool.

Heat the tomato coulis with a bit of olive oil, the remaining shallots, salt and pepper.

Serve the custard, sprinkle with ciseled chices and a bit of the tomato coulis.

Instead of chives, you can replace it with:

-fresh cilantro and add caraway powder to the custard mix

-fresh mint and add star anise in the custard 

-fresh basil and add a few roughly minced pine nuts on the custard

-fresh flat leaves parsley and add roughly minced walnuts, hazelnuts or peanuts to the custard

-thaï basil, replace the sour cream with coconut cream and add curry and hot pepper to the custard

And for the carnivorous, a thin slice of smoked bacon, grilled to be crunchy to set upon the mini cocotte.


irresistible tapenade

 An irresistible recipe, under the condition that you like the ingredients!

Don’t hesitate to make twice the amount as you can keep it for about 2 months in the fridge.

Well, in my house, it never lasts that long and we use it on bread, on pasta, or on steamed vegetables. 

Of course, but do I have to repeat it, the quality of the ingredients makes all the difference.

I received salted capers (hard to get in my neighborhood)  and they’re more subtle than those preserved in vinegar. But if you only have those preserved in vinegar, it’ll be delicious too!

You won’t need three Michelin stars to make it right, nor just one star for that matter, just a small food processor, a blender, or,  for the purists, with a mortar, a pestle, and some muscles.

250g pitted black olives (not too salty if possible)

3 tbsp of drained capers (or rinsed if it’s preserved in salt) 

50g of anchovies

2 pressed garlic cloves

thyme, rosemary (as the chef feels it)

10cl olive oil(and a little bit to cover and preserve)

1 tbsp of lemon juice (unless you use capers in vinegar) 

freshly grounded black pepper

Mix all the ingredients but the pepper and the lemon juice.

Don’t overmix as it’s better if it’s a bit lumpy and not too smooth.

Add pepper and lemon juice.

Pour in a sterilised jar, knock the bottom of the jar on your hand to have less air inside the mix and cover with olive oil to prevent oxidation.

With a few slices of fresh bread…! Irresistible!

little buns with flakes and hazelnut

You can decline bread as much as you’d like… As I had some flakes left in my cupboards, just before the “best before” date, I decided to add it to my dough. I was convince by the result.

While I was kneading the dough, I was eating hazelnut and I decided to add what was left over in the little bag to the dough as well. Second good idea!

100g of flakes (I mixed quinoa and buckwheat flakes)

400g semi-whole organic flour 

6g sea salt flakes 

300ml luke warm water 

1 bag of dry yeast(11g)

1 handfull of hazelnuts 

 Dilute the yeast in the luke warm water.

Mix the flakes with the flour and the salt.

Add the liquid to the flour and knead until the dough comes easily of the bowl. The dough should be supple and elastic. Add the hazelnuts and keep kneading to incorporate them. Form a nice ball and cover with a wet towel. leave to rest for about 2 hours or even overnight.

Knead the dough again and form small balls. Make an incision on each bun and powder with a small amount of flour. 

I put the dough on a cast iron skillet and covered it with an upside-down cast iron pot (I don’t have a pot big enough for 6 small buns!).

Put in the cold oven and turn the temperature to 240°C.

Leave to cook for 40 minutes at the bottom of the oven.

For the last 5 minutes, take the lid off and spread a little water on each bun. Place them in the top part of the oven so it goldens them.

Leave them to cool on a cooling rack then enjoy with some great farm butter!

The crust is crusty (lucky me!), the hazelnut are hidden in the dough and make a great tasty surprise, the falkes add depth to the taste of those buns. And I can’t get enough of the cooking smell!

 I think it’s soothing to make my own bread, to feel the dough form under my fingers, to develop the elasticity of the dough, to wait for it to rest, and to discover the cooked buns, everytime a little different then previously. I like to “knock”on the bread to hear the hollowed noise and to feel the crust.

Nothing is as simple as bread where the list of ingredients are concerned and yet… Bread making needs experience.

To eat it I wait for the bread to cool a little and I feel nourished by it. Nothing like the boring breaqd from supermarkets or even from some bakers.

And did I mention the great smell ?!

batbot – the Moroccan bread

Batbot are flat bread cooked on a frying pan. You tuck a piece of it to eat tajine or couscous.

Mine are very thin but I think that, traditionally, it should be thicker. So mine are crusty and not soft. I like it crusty and use it like a spoon. the soft ones absorb the sauce. I guess I should make both kind to make everyone happy!

In the classic recipe, you have to mix half durum wheat flour (like the one to make pasta dough) and half wheat flour (like the one used for pastry). I didn’t have the durum wheat flour so I made do without it although I think it’s great for your batbot’s texture.

So I’ll have to do it again with the miw of flour and with thicker dough!

For about 40 breads

1kg of wheat flour(half durum wheat)

1 tsp sea salt flakes

1 pack of fresh yeast (about 40g)

500ml of thawed water

3 tbsp olive oil

Mix the yeast in the water.

Mix the flour with the salt.

Pour water/yeast and olive oil in the middle of the flour.

Knead until the dough doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore.

Spread the dough on a flour working board and cut it with a cookie cutter or a glass.

Put the disks on cooking paper, cover with a wet towel and leave to rest 1 hour.

Spread the dough to get thin galette.

If you want thicker bread, cut them the right size to start with and don’t spread it after it has rested.

Cook them one by one on a warm frying pan. Oil it lightly using an oiled paper towel. 

When little bubbles form on the bread, turn it over.


homemade burger bread

just in time for you to train… BBQ season will soon be here!

I love to invite close friends and have a burger party. Everyone can put whatever they like on it and you don’t have to worry about who likes what as long as there’s some choice like: beef burger, bacon, cheddar cheese, salad, tomato, chickpea burger, ketchup, mayonnaise, hot sauce, pickles… well everyone has his favorite!

So here is a great recipe to make your own burger breads. It’s a lot healthier and tastier then those you buy in the store. And it makes your house smell great!

You need:

360g organic flour (T110)

200ml milk (cow or vegan)

10g fresh yeast

1 tbsp of whole sugar 

2g salt

2 tsp lemon juice

20g butter

some sesame seeds so it looks “real” (I haven’t put any).

Thaw the milk (if you put your finger in it, it should be comfortable and not hot). Mix in the yeast.

Melt the butter but don’t heat it too much.

Pour the flour in a bowl, add the salt and the sugar, and mix.

In the middle add the milk and the yeast, the lemon juice then the butter. Mix with a wooden spoon. When it starts to come off the side, you can knead it by hand.

When it forms a nice ball and when it doesn’t stick to your fingers, leave it in the bowl covered with a wet towel and leave to rest in a warm place.

After 1 hour, knead again and divide the dough in 5 or 6 small balls. Put them on an oven dish covered in baking paper. Leave some space in between.

Cover with the humid towel and leave to rest 15 more minutes.

During that time, turn the oven on at 210°C.

 Brush each bread with a little bit of milk. Put in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the bread is golden.

Leave to cool on a rack before cutting them in half and garnishing it with whatever you fancy!

tomato oh tomato

Red, round, firm, the tomato flesh burst into the mouth to feshen up the palate.

It’s acidity can be sweet or hot and she goes along with everything: coconut, basil, coriander, hot pepper, tofu, bacon, buckwheat, rice, sage, …

But she’s never looking better than with just a bit of sea salt flakes. It cracks under the teeth and the flesh absorb the salt to take all the tastebuds at once.

When dry, the tomato reveals her sweetness and elasticity.

I would press one with my bare hands to feel her flesh on my skin like she does on my tongue.

The smell of her skin, of her pedoncule brings back to when she was picked up from the branches that carried her. Her stalk breaks and frees her. She calls for summer, for the heat coming from the stones, for the smell of dried pines. I can only hope for her refreshing juice. If I love her flesh, I can’t wait for the juice at the bottom of the salad bowl where it’s mixed with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Sometimes basil too. It’s a great small happy thing. Like tasting the dried tomato sauce on the side of a heavy cast iron pan. I love the concentrated taste of the tomato and the seasoning I chose that day.

Like a round cheeks redden by effort, firm and welcoming for a kiss. Tomato, my favorite fruit!

So just to get one of the best from the tomato, especially if they’re not as sweet as you wish, bake them in a 200°C oven for about 30 minutes (or at lower temperature for longer).

Today I put my halved tomatoes on top of some leftover ratatouille and seasoned them with the trapper mix. this spice mix contains: maple sugar, salt, garlic, onion, peppers, and coriander.

I will serve it with braised duck and a fresh salad of fennel and chinese cabbage.

flatbread with parmiggiano

For a dozen bread.

This recipe comes from a French magazine called Saveurs (n°183 – may 2011).

I divided the dough in 2 and flavored one half with dried oregano and the other half with fresh finely minced mint. The bread will keep well for a few days but you can also just make half of it if you’re not as many eaters.

Prepare each dough seperately if you want different flavors.

600g of organic whole flour (2x300g)

1 tsp of dry yeast (2 halves tsp)

4 tbsp olive oil (2×2 tbsp)

320g of grated parmiggiano (2x 160g)

50cl of lukewarm water (2x 25 cl)

1 bunch of fresh mint and/or 1 tbsp of dry oregano

Bring water to boil.

In a pastry blender, knead the flour, the boiling water, the olive oil, the parmiggino, and the chosen herb. When the dough isn’t sticking on the bowl anymore, flour your hands and make a ball. Place it in a bowl and cover with a clean cotton cloth. Leave to rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 210°C.

Divide the dough in 8 (or in 16 if you made all of it – 8 with oregano and 8 with mint) and spread it with a rolling pin. With a pastry brush, brush the bread with olive oil, put it on an oven proof dish covered with parchment paper, and cook in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Start again until there’s no dough left. Leave the bread to cool.

You can serve it with pesto, pesto rosso, salmon cream, sardines rillettes, or to accompany a barbecue and some fresh salad.

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gluten free almond bread

1 tsp of dehydrated yeast

50 ml of lukewarm water (37-40°C)

50g of quinoa flour

50g of chickpea flour

100g of buckwheat flour

50g of almond powder

1/2 tsp of sea salt flakes

80g of peeled whole almonds

170ml of lukewarm soy milk

Mix the yeast and the lukewarm water.

Mix the flours + almond powder + salt + peeled whole almond.

Add the mix well.

Add the yeast and mix roughly

Add the luke warm milk, mix well. The dough is wet and not firm.

Pour in a 1 litre cast iron pan. Leave to rest for 1h30 in a luke warm place.

Turn on the oven at 180°C.

Cook for one hour.

Use as bread!

It’s great with walnuts, chestnut, or a mix!

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muffin with manchego and buckwheat

Here is a recipe adapted from a great book from Alice Hart called “My first vegetarian dinner”.

Vegetarian or not, the book has great recipes!


Manchego is a sheep’s cheese, not too strong. A stronger taste would do great in it, like roquefort (blue cheese also made with sheep milk).

Preheat the oven at 180°C.

Wash and separate the stalk from the leaves of the Swiss chard.

Cut the stalk into pieces and steam it for 4 minutes.

Cut the leaves in stripes and add them to the stalk, cook for one more minute.

Drain the Swiss chard in a clean towel to get rid of the excess of water.

In a bowl, mix 190g of buckwheat flour + 2 pinches of salt + 1 pinch of caraway powder.

In another bowl, mix 175ml of soy milk + 25g of melted butter + 1 egg.

Mix the 2 together but don’t over do it so it stays lumpy nad light.

Although with the buckwheat flour it won’t be as light and fluffy as with wheat flour.

Pour into small muffins mould (silicone is great). Cook 15 minutes.

Leave to cool.

The “problem” with buckwheat flour is that it doesn’t really golden while cooking!

Those muffins are delicious with a good homemade hummus.

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