Pops of juicy blueberries meet fragrant rosemary, tangy citrus, and sweet honey for a less indulgent but equally as delicious scone. Continue reading “blueberry spelt scones with rosemary and lemon”
It’s not everyday that you get to step away from your desk to unwind and enjoy a balanced, wholesome lunch.
Chloe Vichot is on a mission to change that with the opening of her new restaurant, Ancolie.
When I was in France, I experimented with a whole slew of root vegetables. Turnips, celeriac, parsnips, black radishes — you name it, I roasted it.
If you were to tell me in high school that, after graduating college, I would pack up and move abroad, I would more than likely have laughed in your face. My image of post-graduate life involved hole-in-the-wall NYC apartments and cubicles, not working abroad.
But I suppose life can surprise you when you’d least expect it because, as I write these very words, I’m sitting in an empty apartment in France surrounded by two gigantic suitcases, a boarding pass, and 8 months of pinch-me-this-can’t-be-real kind of experiences.
They say the Provence region of France is blessed by the gods. I’m inclined to agree.
With sun-soaked hillside villages overlooking sweeping lavender fields, olive groves and vineyards, “charming” is certainly an understatement. In fact, I think “enchanting” is more appropriate.
My kitchen here in France is the farthest thing from fancy. It’s an industrial, stainless steel setup complete with two hot plates, a sink, a refrigerator, and a mini oven that looks deceptively like a toaster oven but lacks the ability to toast.
And that’s about it. No microwave to be found.
Of course, I could have purchased one myself, but I spent the first 18 years of my life sans microwave, so the thought never seriously crossed my mind.
I bought buckwheat flour for the first time to make galettes, otherwise known as savory crepes. After all, I have been living in France for close to 6 months now, so it was about time I made this iconic dish. From ratatouille to leeks to the classic ham/cheese/egg trio, I’ve filled these thin pancakes with just about anything I could think of. I even tried a sweet potato, zucchini, cauliflower, and herb combination when I was trying to clean out my refrigerator a few weeks ago.
However much I love the versatility of the buckwheat galette, there’s only so many I can eat before I’m itching to throw on my apron and experiment with something new. This weekend, I found myself staring at the remaining half a bag of buckwheat flour, wracking my brain for some recipe inspiration.
And then it came to me…. pizza.
There’s nothing glorious about root vegetables. In fact, they’re often deformed-looking, intimidating, and tough objects that don’t possess nearly the same charm as plump, deep red summer tomatoes or crisp granny smith apples. When I see celeriac, parsnips, or turnips at the market, I’m not overwhelmed with an urge to devour them like I am with, say, a bowl of blueberries. I don’t start conjuring up recipes or salivating at the thought of the earthy aroma they would create in my kitchen. Besides the more common ones (i.e. carrots, potatoes, onions, and yams), I ignored root vegetables for a long time. 22 years, to be exact.
However, as the winter months came around here in France and temperatures dipped, locally grown root vegetables started taking center stage at the market. Remaining steadfast in my commitment to eat in tune with the seasons, I abruptly ended what was a root vegetable-free life.
Last week, I had leftover almond flour I wanted to use before it went bad. In other words, I needed an excuse to make cookies on a Tuesday. Upon realizing that I only had about half the amount of flour I needed, I decided to throw in some gluten-free oats. Although not sure how the combination of nutty flour and grainy oats would taste, I was crossing my fingers that the results wouldn’t be catastrophic.
When it comes to food, the French know what they’re doing. No surprise there. La gastronomie of France, in all its seasonal, locally-sourced, fresh-from-the-market brilliance, was one of the main reasons I wanted to move back here for an extended period of time after college. And since arriving, I’ve been doing my best to absorb everything about French culture (minus their horrendous smoking habits) from the food to the literature to the undeniable and permeating joie de vivre. It’s a spirit that invites elegance into the mundane of daily life, a language whose romanticism is crushingly beautiful, and a gastronomic culture whose vibrancy will make you wonder why it took you so long to decide to move to France in the first place.
Despite all of this, there is one thing I haven’t come to terms with, and I’m not sure I ever will. Because however much I love France, its utter disregard for the amazing meal that is breakfast burns a SERIOUS hole in our relationship.