Guess what? Even everyday French chefs go out from time to time. Luckily for me there is a cluster of great little bistros in my neighborhood, and none I like better than Au Passage. The other night I had a dessert there that was so addictively sublime that I had to have it again. The name itself is enough to evoke Provence in the still of a summer evening: Ricotta with lavender and mirabelles, the sweet little yellow plums that appear in markets over here every August. I tried to duplicate the dessert a few days later, but it lacked some little je-ne-sais-quoi. So yesterday I wandered over to Au Passage and spoke with the chef, Shaun Kelly, who was kind enough to share his recipe.
Ricotta à la lavande et aux mirabelles / Ricotta with lavender and plums
Shaun, who has been chef at Au Passage since mid-July, is Australian — and a brilliantly creative master of the culinary arts. His menus change every day, so when you return you can never be sure of finding the fabulous moules à l’aïoli (mussels with garlic mayonnaise) or burrata à la poutargue (creamy mozzarella with botargo) that you enjoyed the last time. This is what inspired me to try my hand at it. And Shaun’s creations are not only delectable but beautiful, too. Before serving the ricotta-mirabelle dessert, for example, he recommends sprinkling it with a few drops of olive oil ‘and the odd lavender flower.’
The dessert, the first on this site, takes about 20 minutes to prepare from beginning to end. And it’s to die for…
The Everyday French Chef will be back on Monday. In the meantime, happy cooking!