Tapenade, made with either black or green olives, is one of Provence’s most celebrated dishes. Olivade, though it has never reached such fame, is nonetheless superb. Olivade is usually made with Fromage Blanc and black olives (Niçoise or Kalamata). But in this version, I use homemade ricotta and cured olives. This makes for a lighter, yet richly-flavored, spread.
Making savory tarts requires a bit of patience and an unhurried stint in the kitchen, but they are well worth the effort. To me tarts are a sophisticated comfort food that’s totally irresistible and one that I love spending time crafting.
The first time I tasted quinoa was in the mid-1980′s. I’d just moved to Vermont and was discovering all kinds of new foods. It was a thrill.
I remember eagerly looking for recipes for it, but in those pre-Google times, the only thing I had to go on were the directions on the package.
So I started experimenting on my own. Before long, quinoa was a favorite in our household; it was on the menu at least once a week, in one form or another.
For me, the most seductive thing about quinoa is its texture — it is so refined! And although I often serve it in place of rice, I also love creating more sophisticated recipes for it.
That’s how I came up with today’s dish. I wanted to make an elegant appetizer, something I could serve at dinner parties — something that would highlight this little seed’s delicate shape and subtle flavor.
When it comes to cooking, my focus is always on seasonal produce. But now and then, I like to make a dish that is truly seasonless. I always have a box of pasta, olive oil and fresh garlic in my pantry… And I certainly always have cured olives in my refrigerator.
Ever since my first trip to Provence, when I discovered olives de Nyons,* cured olives have become a staple in my kitchen. I simply couldn’t live without them.
Authentic olives de Nyons are so exceptional that they boast their own AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée). Harvested late in the season, their skins become a bit shriveled and their flesh packed with concentrated flavors. Then they are salted and dry-cured, a process that removes any bitterness and intensifies their inherent sweetness. They’re just sublime!
Mother’s day is around the corner and what could be more wonderful but to make a special meal for your mother? Cooking for loved ones is always a rewarding endeavor but cooking for your mom is especially meaningful – chances are she has cooked many meals in her life! I’m sure that having a meal cooked just for her is a much appreciated treat.
Here’s a festive and delicious brunch that’s also easy to prepare. In my experience it’s been a hit with adults and kids alike (I’ve tested it on my nieces ages 7 and 10, and not a morsel was left on their plates!) – a real plus when making a meal you want the whole family to enjoy.
This brunch menu was featured in the February 2009 of Rockland Magazine. To read the full feature click on Ladies Who Brunch.
I’ve shot a video of this brunch, with lots of cooking tips so that the recipes come out perfectly and the preparations can go smoothly.