“How many cookbooks do you have anyway?” my boy asked me the other day, followed by, “And how many (food) magazines?”
I never counted, but there are 2 full bookcases. “Don’t worry”, I told him. “Son, one day all this will be yours and your sister’s. 50-50”
I bought my first cookbook at 10. The second one when I was a 20-something student. As you can see, it started as a rickle but over the years turned into a flood of books, an uncontrollable urge to grab a pretty cookbook and take it home with me. It especially worsened in the past decade.
I’ll be honest. I don’t love all my cookbooks equally. Some did not make it past the first date. Some were abandoned after I gave them a second chance. Some are waiting patiently to be used. Some books are the kind a person is supposed to have, like the big fat Bon Appetit Desserts cookbook. (It weighs 6.4 pounds!) I baked 2 cakes out of it and they were just, eh, not that exciting. So what am I supposed to do? Tell me, should I give/donate/toss it away? Do you want it?
But some cookbook I really love and get attached to (like these for example—a partial list…). I will keep them forever.
Recently, to control my cookbook-buying habits, I’ve decided to only buy cookbooks written by people I know or have met, and to those that are particularly, irresistibly gorgeous. And so today, dear people, let me introduce to you my newest cookbook—it’s that irresistibly gorgeous!!!
Just by looking at the cover you can see how pretty it is, but don’t judge a book by the cover! It’s even prettier inside. I was so excited about it that I even got my blogging friend from Holland, Simone, to buy a copy and cook something “together” with me.
And the recipes… The recipes… I believe this is the first cookbook that I have cooked multiple recipes from, one right after the other, and I just keep going because I loved them all.
I love the colors, the photography, the styling—they are so vivid and beautiful. The food, French-inspired—especially the portion size, I must add a here—includes an excellent variety of vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. The food is light on the stomach, as are the photos on the eye. There is a nicely sized chapter for desserts too—always a good thing.
I am truly inspired. Also because the author started as a blogger and look how far she got!
Now I’ll tell you what I made, and then there’s a recipe.
I baked these tartlets:
and I baked brown butter pistachio and poppy seeds financiers and chocolate and hazelnuts financiers (The recipe for those are on her blog, click here)
and I stirred celeriac, white sweet potato, and apple soup (I found a similar recipe here) as well as the carrot and red lentil soup
and I roasted the lemon and honey-flavored chicken
My conclusion: I think this cookbook is a keeper. Here’s a link to Amazon to buy it.
I better get a second copy so the kids won’t have to fight over this one copy when it’s time to inherit my cookbooks collection. Don’t think they will share or take turns without a fight. Hmm.
Now let’s see which recipe/s Simone tried out and what she thinks of the cookbook.
Coriander-flavored carrot and zucchini tartlets
Makes six 4 1/2-inch tartlets
|For the dough I used my No-roll quiche crust. This time with 13 tablespoons of butter and 6 small tartlets pans instead of an 11-inch tart pan.|
For the filling, I used Beatrice’s recipe
Excerpted from LA TARTINE GOURMANDE by Béatrice Peltre, (c) 2012. Published by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc., Boston. www.RoostBooks.com (Instructions written in my own words).
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
5 tablespoons crème fraiche or heavy cream
Sea salt and pepper
In a bowl, beat all those together. Set aside.
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 thyme twigs
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
2 packed cups finely grated carrots
Sea salt and pepper
1 small yellow or green zucchini, finely grated
4 oz. (120 gram) manchego cheese, thinly sliced >> I used 6 thin slices
3 oz. (90 gram) soft fresh goat cheese, crumbled >> I used Brouson
Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees.
In a medium frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the thyme and 1 teaspoon coriander, cook 1 minute. Add the carrots, some salt and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes until carrots are soft. Transfer to a bowl to cool, discard the thyme.
In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon coriander, cook 1 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, cook 1-2 minutes until it softens. Remove to a bowl and let cool.
Divide the egg batter: Mix 3/4 with the carrots and 1/4 with the zucchini.
On the bottom of each tartlet pan (with the dough laid in it, of course!) place 1 slice of manchego cheese. Then, spoon the carrots around the edges, leaving room in the middle for the zucchini. Repeat with all 6 tartlet pans adding the zucchini after you’re done with the carrots. Top each tartlet with goat cheese crumbles.
Place the tartlets in a large baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.