Recipes to rediscover the tastes and colors of nature

Recipes to rediscover the tastes and colors of nature

The phenomenon has increased with the confinements: living in the countryside is a life project for many city dwellers. This desire is reflected in various fields (fashion, leisure, etc.) and the kitchen does not escape this call of nature.

Multi-color dishes

Among the spring’s most notable bookstore releases, Monique Duveau’s book, Live the countryside, 70 gourmet and generous recipes in the colors of the countryside (Éditions de la Martinière) sets the tone… or rather the palette. Because throughout the book, color is queen and comes in a thousand shimmering shades on the tables, the bouquets of flowers and the author’s gourmet recipes: the green of a shoulder of lamb with garlic bears, the orange quince paste of José his companion, the yellow of a lemon pie, the red of stuffed tomatoes, the pink and purple of a wreath half-fig half-raisin, the brown of a porcini mushroom tart or the white of delicate beaten eggs.

Monique Duveau, long-time journalist and food stylist for magazines South side And Western coastcelebrates her beloved Perche and the old school she transformed into a little paradise with “a delicious garden, priest’s pears, lime trees and hornbeams, chattering magpies, all in the middle of a village, on the edge of the fields, three songs from the church bell, three steps from ‘a walk in the woods, and a few minutes as the crow flies from the Belleme forest… ». Throughout the pages, she also reveals her passion for bouquets of flowers sumptuously composed and staged according to the colors of the season.

A kitchen full of poetry

Another equally inspiring universe, that of Alice Roca, author of the blog Alice in food and the eponymous book (First editions). This former fashion designer based in Normandy, very active on social networks (she shares inspiring videos every week) has imagined over the seasons a kind of very practical joyful manual for simmering in harmony with nature by advocating healthy cooking, gourmet, anti-waste and full of poetry; his spring rolls are dressed in nasturtium, primrose and calendula flowers, as are his goat’s cheese terrines or flowery foccacias. Special mention for the “jars” pages which blow a wind of creativity on preserves, syrups, coulis and other jams.

Divert codes and rules

Finally, Second hand, a book in which I participated, highlights, through 50 recipes and 32 tables, treasures unearthed in flea markets in small villages and discoveries in family homes in the countryside, which are so many pretexts to rediscovering the beauty of yesteryear, having fun with the ugly and sublimating the kitsch. Over the seasons and calendar festivals and moments of life, François Motte distils his advice for setting beautiful tables with linen tablecloths or flamboyant waxes, with in particular spectacular slip dishes with trompe-l’oeil d asparagus or variegated fish. The author of this book also gives some ideas for associating colors and shapes, daring to mix and match genres, eras and styles and to devote oneself to the diversion of codes, rules and objects, to the good taste like bad.

In conclusion to this trip to the countryside, we have a good reason to rejoice: in our urban interiors, we have the great ideas to transform our feasts in the cities into feasts in the fields!

► In my library

Live the countryside, 70 gourmet and generous recipes in the colors of the countryside, by Monique Duveau, photographs José Esteves (Editions de la Martinière, 256 p., €32).

Alice in food, At my table, texts and photographs by Alice Roca (First editions, 374 p., €29.95).

Second Hand, 32 holiday tables found & as many recipes that go with it by François Motte, photographs by Caroline Faccioli (Hachette editions, 288 p., €35).


The recipes

► Spring chicken in jelly

Recipes to rediscover the tastes and colors of nature

Recipe by Monique Duveau, taken from Live the countryside, 70 gourmet and generous recipes in the colors of the countryside

For 6 to 8 guests

1 nice free-range chicken or 1 pullet

1 veal foot

75 cl of white wine

1 large onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2 sheets of gelatin (2 g)

200g shelled peas

200g shelled fava beans

1 sprig of mint

1 sprig of fresh lemon thyme

1 small bunch of chives Chive and borage flowers (optional)

Salt and pepper from the mill

Cut the chicken into pieces and remove the skin. Place them in a casserole dish, add the calf’s foot cut in half, the white wine, the onion cut in half, the peeled garlic cloves and the sprig of rosemary. Cover with water if the white wine is not enough. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 1 hour. Let cool.

Bone the meat by hand, keeping pieces of the same size. Add salt and pepper.

Strain the broth and add the gelatine sheets that you have previously softened in a little cold water. Bring to a boil while whisking and let cool.

Blanch the peas and fava beans for about 8 minutes, they should remain al dente.

In a terrine, arrange a few peas and fava beans and a few aromatic herbs at the bottom, add pieces of chicken on top. Continue with a layer of vegetables, then herbs and chicken. Pour the cooled jelly all over the terrine and keep it in the refrigerator for at least one night.

The next day, unmold the terrine and decorate with aromatic herbs and chive and borage flowers.

Serve chilled.

► My Eton Mess with red fruits

Recipes to rediscover the tastes and colors of nature

Recipe by Monique Duveau, taken from Live the countryside, 70 gourmet and generous recipes in the colors of the countryside

For 4 people

100g 35% fat liquid cream

20g vanilla sugar

500 g small strawberries, raspberries and currants

1 C. icing sugar

200 g Greek yogurt

6 to 8 small meringues

In a bowl, pour the very cold cream and whip it with the vanilla sugar. Keep cold.

Wash and hull strawberries and currants. Add the raspberries and mix them with the icing sugar. Book.

In a glass container, pour 100 g of yogurt, place half of the meringues, then half of the red fruits and half of the cream. Continue by alternating red fruits, yogurt and finish with cream and meringues.

Decorate with some red fruits on top. Keep cold until ready to serve.

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