I’ve been a huge fan of Clotilde Dusoulier, author of Chocolate & Zucchini, for many years now. Even before I had my own blog, I read Clotilde. I own and love Clotilde’s Edible Adventures in Paris and Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen and I was thrilled to meet her when she was in Toronto a few years ago talking about the art of food blogging. When I heard Clotilde was releasing a new book at the beginning of the summer featuring vegetarian recipes from her Parisian kitchen and organised according to the seasons (each chapter includes a sort of “heads up” about the produce that is available during that season), I knew I needed a copy. Forget guide books, all I needed to guide me through the fabulous produce of Paris and Languedoc markets was The French Market Kitchen Cookbook! (You can get a sneak peek here).
Over the past few years, Clotilde explains that she has transitioned to a more plant-based way of eating (for reasons of ethics, environmental concern, and natural inclination) and she has developed vegetarian recipes using her weekly produce that she shares in this new book, which features 90 seasonal recipes (many of them vegan) and 75 color photographs (I love the photos – when I am cooking and baking I need some sort of visual guideline to help me). Clotlide says : “My goal, in this book as on the blog, is to teach and inspire, so each of the recipes is meant to leave you not just with a wonderful dish to share with your friends, but also with a trick, a technique, a building block that you can adopt and use elsewhere in your cooking.”
A book that offers “building blocks” you can build on and adapt? Sounds right up my alley since I am, you know the queen of adapting recipes! The fact that this cookbook is organised according to the seasons is a stroke of genius especially if you are trying to eat seasonally. How often do you look through a cookbook, find a tasty looking recipe and then realise that one of the major ingredients is out of season? Well worry no more because all you have to do is consult the seasonal chapter that applies to find something you can easily find ingredients for.
When I am away from home, I tend to cook and bake a lot. This past summer I made sure to invite friends over to my tiny Paris flat often so that I could try out Clotilde’s “French Market” recipes (it’s easier to cook for more than one person!). Every recipe that I made was a success. Simple ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes make for dishes I’ll make again and again. The green bean, red rice and almond salad found its way to my table at least 6 times in 7 weeks. It’s that good!
One of the recipes I was most excited to try was the ratatouille tian – you know, the fancy presentation you might have seen in Ratatouille the movie! Instead of chopping and stewing the vegetables, they are sliced paper-thin, artfully arranged and baked in the oven. My first attempt was not so artful…
… but boy, was it tasty! I’ve made ratatouille a few times since coming home in August and I make it this way every time now. I’m getting better at the “artful” part too!
Lucky for you, you can find the recipe online here.
The revelation of the book, however, was this zucchini and apricot socca tart. Basically a apricote compote spread over socca and topped with thinly sliced zucchini (raw). It’s definitely not a combination I would have thought of but it really works. Leftovers heat up well in a skillet too!
You’ll want to try this one for sure – you can find the recipe here.
And of course, what’s summer without a summer fruit clafoutis? Specifically, a peach and almond clafoutis like this one.
My battered, splattered copy of The French Market Cookbook is testament to how often it’s been used despite its short life and the fact that I have made every recipe I have tried from the book more than once tells me this is a cookbook that will join Dorie’s Around My French Table as a “go to” book to consult when I need ideas or those “building blocks” she speaks about. Highly recommended for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians and definitely a great starting point towards eating more seasonally.
Win a copy of Clotilde Dusoulier’s The French Market Cookbook (worldwide)!
That’s right – thanks to the kind folks at Random House Canada, I have a copy of The French Market Cookbook up for grabs. If the winner resides outside Canada, I will pay the extra cost for shipping so it’s open to anyone, anywhere!
1. Leave a comment below telling me which one of the recipes featured in this post would you like to try and why?
2. For a bonus entry, tweet the following message:
I entered to win The French Market Cookbook by @clotildenet from @eatlivtravwrite + @RandomHouseCA http://bit.ly/19FO8qz
Then come back to leave me a comment telling me you did.
Edited to add: Contest CLOSED
Contest closes on Wednesday September 25th at 6pm EST. Winner will be chosen by random.org and will be notified by email on September 26th 2013.
Disclosure: Random House Canada provided me with a review copy of The French Market Cookbook. I was not required to post about this, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions are my own.