Asparagus (asperges) was the favored vegetable of France’s King Louis XIV. Also known as the Sun King, Louis even went as far as to declare asparagus, the “King of Vegetables”. When preparing this highly nutritive, flowering perennial plant, our first instinct usually finds us at the chopping block with a sharp knife in hand. But there’s a better way! From his kitchen on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, watch Professor of Cuisine, Jack Legras of Lenôtre demonstrate a simple preparation technique for asparagus.
•• French with English Subtitles ••
Artichauts Cuits au Four
2 large fresh artichokes
(best in season from March through May)
3 cloves garlic
3-4 sprigs of fresh parsley
1 cup fresh gluten free bread crumbs or gluten free crackers
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup white wine, Chardonnay
herbed sea salt & pepper to taste
4 tbsp butter
•• Warm the oven to 350°. Using a serrated knife, remove the stems and approximately 1/4 of the leaves from the top. •• Steam the artichokes in a pot of boiling water for 5-6 minutes for medium sized and 15 minutes for large. •• Once the leaves become tender, remove from the steam and retain a cup of the water for later use. •• On a plastic cutting board, finely chop the garlic and parsley while mixing together as the parsley absorbs some of the strength of the garlic. •• Mix in the bread crumbs, herbed sea salt and pepper to taste. •• Place the artichokes in a large bowl and pour the bread crumb mixture over the tops of the artichokes. •• Gently spread the leaves apart allowing the crumbs to trickle down inside, filling the leaves. •• Place the artichokes in a baking dish and lightly drizzle olive oil over the top. •• Mouiller the artichokes with some of the reserved steamed artichoke water and white wine to moisten. •• Top with pats of butter. •• Pour additional water into the bottom of the baking dish and cover with foil. •• Bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown. ••
•• ooh la la ••
Gluten Free Breadcrumbs
Miettes de Pain Sans Gluten
•• Slice dried gluten free bread into small cubes. •• Using a hand-held masher or mortar and pestle, grind the bread cubes until fine. •• For later use, add herbed sea salt. •• Gluten free crackers can also be substituted. ••
Crazy for Cauliflower
Whether you prefer cauliflower cooked or crunchy, this essential member of the cabbage family is high in fiber and contains many nutrients and other important sources of antioxidants. Cauliflower heads can be roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw. The thick stalks are not recommended, but when cooked down, the green leaves are also very delicious. Because we are crazy for cauliflower, we are kicking off a few recipe shares, beginning with Roasted Cauliflower with Parmesan @ Cooking with Carole.
To eating with ease and to eating well!
There are hundreds of historic and current commercial varieties of these cruciferous vegetables used around the world. Some of the different varieties and colors of cauliflower, such as the popular Romanesco cauliflower or broccoli are pictured in the forefront at the Le Marché Saint-Louis in Fontainebleau, France.
With our focus on food origins and the importance of the best ingredients you can source locally, we recently embarked on an experiment beyond the backyard. Although online shopping for organic fruits and vegetables never occurred to us, we decided to see what was behind a simple snail-mail flyer for Misfits Market. Within a week of signing up for a subscription for two and a delivery schedule of every other week, we received our first shipment of misfit fruits and veggies (pictured above). If you like surprises like we do, then you’re in for a bounty of healthy ingredients that also serves as inspiration for your next foray into the kitchen. Another upside to the surprise factor is finding an ingredient in your box that you may have been reluctant to try or one that you would not otherwise find locally. More recently, we participated in Misfits Market beta test for specific ordering and add-ons, versus a surprise package. Approximately a week before the next scheduled shipment, Misfits Market emailed a list of preferences within five separate categories. For those who are true meal planners and super-organized, these added features to the service, certainly come in handy.
The mission of Misfits Market is timely and long overdue. According to their About page, they state that in America, many of us still don’t have access to high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables and that we waste as much food as we eat. Almost half of what our nation’s farms grow is never eaten. Much of this is due to modern-day beauty standards for food. Misfit fruits, misshapen vegetables, and delicious but odd-sized produce are squandered at every level. It’s not healthy, it’s expensive, it’s a problem at a huge scale, and it doesn’t fit with their view of the world, hence the start-up of their new and rapidly expanding company.
But that’s not all. For meal planning and other ideas, the folks at Misfits Market also include a recipe card that includes a specific item found in your box. The shipments are via Federal Express and great care is taken with the packaging and delivery, even in inclement weather conditions. They seem to have thought of everything, right down to the recyclable cardboard boxes to the ice packs that are reusable and environmentally safe for disposal.
So go on online to get organic! When joining the Misfits movement, you can save 30% on your first box by using code LEMENUMAISON30. And for our special friends and subscribers in Florida, beginning this week, Misfits Market has officially started taking orders for delivery to all zip codes in the sunshine state.
••To Eating Well••