Category Archives: 1. Starters

Aubergines farcies aux noix

High summer is the time to make and enjoy this dish of roasted eggplant topped with a pungent walnut sauce. Traditionally served as a starter, it also makes a fine side dish or the star of a mezze spread. The … Continue reading

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Purée de haricots blancs

The idea for this Mediterranean-style dip came my way the other day when a friend brought me a packet of beautiful dried white broad beans. I wanted to use them quickly, but they were so large that I feared they … Continue reading

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Ti punch, acras de morue

Strong drink may be needed to get through the next couple of weeks, so here’s a rum cocktail from the French Antilles and crispy cod fritters to go with it. The cocktail, ti punch, is based on rhum agricole, a … Continue reading

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Piste de moules à la sétoise

Mussels with garlic, hot pepper, olive oil and fresh herbs, served in small glasses at cocktail hour, is a specialty of the charming Mediterranean port of Sète. This is local cuisine at its finest — le piste de moules, as … Continue reading

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Fondue savoyarde

What’s not to like about cheese fondue? Over here it evokes memories of ski vacations in the French Alps, where after a day on the slopes it is enjoyed in cozy chalets before a crackling wood fire. But of course … Continue reading

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Anchoïade

‘Cauchemar en cuisine’ is a popular French TV show starring a celebrity chef: it translates as ‘Nightmare in the kitchen’, which pretty much defines the situation over here for the last couple of weeks. In a word (well, two), no … Continue reading

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Asperges blanches

This spring in Paris has seen a great profusion of white asparagus. It came onto the market in early March, ahead of the green variety, and at prices so tempting I couldn’t resist. This, plus a request from a Japanese … Continue reading

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Concombres à la crème

Simple starters are having a moment in Paris, and today I am featuring one of my favorites, cucumbers in cream. This tasty dish may be enhanced with the herb of your choice – cilantro, dill, chives or chervil – and … Continue reading

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Harengs pommes à l’huile

Smoked herring and potatoes bathed in a gentle vinaigrette is a classic French bistro starter. In this rendition, two types of beets are added to the plate — cooked red beets and raw, striped heirloom beets — along with onion … Continue reading

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Tarama

I first discovered tarama in France, where it has been popular as a starter for decades or possibly longer. It is traditionally made from bottarga — cured and salted roe that has been pressed and sealed in wax. But, as … Continue reading

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