Lemon Ginger Tartlet

It’s been almost ten years since I was first in touch with Claire, the talented author of the pioneering natural […]

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  • October 15, 2014
Edible French

EDIBLE FRENCH, my new book of food-related French idioms, is released today. EDIBLE FRENCH explores fifty of the most evocative […]

  • 234
  • October 7, 2014
Rooftop View of the Sacré-Coeur

Some of my favorite finds and reads for this month: ~ Ever wanted to get a food-related tattoo? Here are […]

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  • September 29, 2014
Pasta with Tetragon

My first brush with tetragon — a.k.a. New Zealand spinach, warrigal greens, sea spinach, and a few assorted nicknames — […]

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  • June 22, 2010
Quince Almond Cake

I scored big last week, as not one, but two generous friends asked if I’d like to take a few […]

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  • October 19, 2010
Saffron-Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting summer vegetables comes quite naturally to most cooks, I believe, but not everyone thinks to submit their winter counterparts […]

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  • December 3, 2008

Lemon Ginger Tartlets

It’s been almost ten years since I was first in touch with Claire, the talented author of the pioneering natural foods blog Clea Cuisine, and over time we’ve built a simple and sincere friendship that means a lot to me.

Clea is one of those rare persons who radiate with confidence and serenity, as if the turmoil of the outside world and its latest trends left them unfazed, so busy they are following their own path, guided by their own taste. These qualities have earned her a crowd of loyal and engaged readers whose food lives she has often changed, as one of the very first in France to write about agar agar, rice flour, and almond butter.

And so when she suggested a culinary exchange between our respective blogs, I accepted without a moment’s hesitation: the idea was for each of us to pick three recipes on the other’s blog, combine them vigorously in a shaker, and come up with a new recipe inspired by the mélange.

I share Clea’s taste for a very tangy lemon tart — i.e. not very sweet — and to me the formula below achieves the perfect balance.

The opportunity to dive into one another’s archives was not the least of the associated perks, and I personally chose her Cream of carrot with white miso and ginger, her Chocolate and ginger pudding with agar agar, and her Ultimate lemon tart.

Initially, I decided to make a lemon tart flavored with ginger and white miso — you can read more about using white miso in desserts. But my preliminary tests did not convince me that white miso had its place in this recipe, so I shelved the idea and opted instead to make lemon ginger tartlets, which delighted all who had the chance to sample them.

The pairing of lemon and ginger no longer has to prove itself, and all I had to do was add finely grated fresh ginger to Clea’s lemon curd recipe. I share her taste for a very tangy lemon tart — i.e. not very sweet — and to me the formula below achieves the perfect balance. This vividly flavorful lemon ginger curd could also be prepared for its own sake, to spread on a pretty brioche, pimp your yogurt, garnish crêpes, or dip a spoon in (I won’t tell).

For the crust, I chose to follow the recipe for pâte sucrée that pastry chef Jacques Genin uses and shares in his little book Le Meilleur de la tarte au citron (The best of lemon tarts). It is very easy to make and lovely to handle, and it forms a delicate and crisp tart shell in perfect contrast to the unctuous curd.

And to see the idea that my own archives sparked for Claire, head over to her post (in French) on Pasta with almond-zucchini gremolata and roasted onions.

Join the conversation!

Do you know people like Clea who inspire you with their poise and taste? And how do you like your lemon tarts — tangy? sweet? with a layer of meringue on top?

Lemon Ginger Tartlets

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Edible French Comes Out Today! (+ A Giveaway)

EDIBLE FRENCH, my new book of food-related French idioms, is released today.

EDIBLE FRENCH explores fifty of the most evocative French expressions related to food with cultural notes, recipes, and whimsical watercolors by my talented friend Mélina Josserand.

It’s a project that has been brewing in my mind for years and years, and as a lover of both food and language, I am thrilled to be able to share it with you now.

I am also incredibly pleased with how the physical object turned out; the production team has done a wonderful job of it. It’s a book that feels very loveable, and the quality of the paper — thick, matte, with a bit of texture — really brings out the beauty of Melina’s watercolors, almost as if they were originals. I can tell that the people I show it to don’t really want to let go once they have it in their hands, and I hope you feel that way too.

I have set up a companion site for the book where you can view excerpts and listen to the expressions and example sentences featured in the book.

And if you plan to be in Paris in the coming weeks, I have two book events lined up on October 14 and November 29 (all details here).

EDIBLE FRENCH is now available in the US and Canada, in France, and in the UK.

See below for an animated sneak peek of the book, and details about the giveaway.

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October 2014 Desktop Calendar

At the beginning of every month in 2014, I am offering a new wallpaper to apply on the desktop of your computer, with a food-related picture and a calendar of the current month.

As a new feature this year, the desktop calendar is available in two versions: a US-friendly version that features Sunday as the first day of the week, and a French version (shown above) that complies with international standards, featuring Monday as the first day of the week.

Our calendar for October is a picture of my jar of granola, which I make a little bit differently each time, but always following this basic formula. And when it comes to granola, of which I cannot get enough, I have more than one recipe up my sleeve: see this raw buckwheat granola, this savory granola, this paleo granola, and these granola bars.

Instructions to get your calendar are below.

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September Favorites

Some of my favorite finds and reads for this month:

~ Ever wanted to get a food-related tattoo? Here are a few temporary ones you can test-drive.

~ A simple recipe for yogurt popsicles. I’ve been tempted to get some pop molds and this may push me over the edge.

~ Who makes the best pain au chocolat in Paris?

~ What kids’ school menus look like in Japan.

~ How to make chocolate chip cookies exactly how you like them.

~ The Eater site publishes its list of banned words.

~ You have until January 3 to go and see this Paris exhibition on the fascinating history of the spoon.

~ I love the tip at the bottom of this post on how to properly dip chocolate-coated shortbread.

~ Why you are better off refrigerating your tomatoes — in some cases.

~ How about a little photo tour of my neighborhood?

~ “Just so you know, food arrives when it’s ready.” This service trend has yet to arrive in Paris, and it’s one I hope doesn’t.

~ I should make temaki sushi more often.

Soy Sauce Roasted Cashews

I love the bulk section at my local organic store.

I love that it allows me to cut down on the packaging, as I strive to bring back and reuse the same paper bags until they give out in exhaustion. I love that I pay less for the exact same products or ingredients, and I love that it gives me an opportunity to purchase sample-size amounts of new foods without committing to a whole package.

This is how I recently got ahold of some shoyu roasted cashews from Jean Hervé — an all-around fantastic brand for nut butters — that proved all kinds of good, crunchy and toasty and salty but not overly so.

I found myself reaching for small handfuls that soon turned into bigger ones while preparing dinner, and sprinkling them over my lunch salads as well, and soon enough my sample was gone.

Of course I could have just gone out and bought more — oh, how I love pulling down on those levers! too! — but when I compared the price of plain cashews with the soy sauce roasted ones, I calculated that they were charging 30% more for the soy sauce marinating and the roasting, which seemed like steps I could very well accomplish myself.

And it was indeed a most straightforward process: you simply pour soy sauce over the cashews, and let them soak it in overnight before roasting in the oven, where the cashews will crisp up as the soy sauce dries up and caramelizes.

These you can nibble on with a pre-dinner drink — I like to present them on the adorable mini cutting boards that Earlywood now makes — or snack on during the day (word of warning: very. hard. to stop.), or sprinkle over your salads, or package up and present as a low-effort but well-received edible gift.

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