Paris Potluck Recipes

The Paris Potluck

When I went to the Salon Saveurs recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with a few Chocolate & Zucchini readers. A few hours of wandering up and down the aisles brought us closer, and as we all sat down, exhausted but exhilarated, the idea of creating a little supper club was brought up. The idea was to throw a dinner party where everyone would bring a dish, à la potluck. Isabelle and Ethan offered to host the first edition, which took place ten days ago.

We had a wonderful evening in Isabelle and Ethan’s cosy appartment in the 12th arrondissement, everyone engaged in lively — and often food-related — conversation, and I was delighted to see my salon companions again, and to meet new friends.

The whole team from the Salon Saveurs was in attendance : Isabelle and Ethan, Alisa, Amy (who came with her boyfriend Nicolas), Pascale (accompanied by her husband David), myself and Maxence. Meg from Too Many Chefs was there too, and we had the pleasure of meeting Christoph, whose comments you may have read on C&Z, and his wife Suzanne. Three foodie friends of Ethan and Isabelle rounded up the count to fifteen, Jonathan, Malory and Peter. Eight from America, four from France, two from Germany and one from Great Britain — quite the cosmopolitan bunch!

Needless to say, we ate like kings :

– Isabelle made a Zucchini Carpaccio (I had never had anything like this and loved it) and a Spring Vegetable Risotto,

– Meg contributed her tasty Chickpea and Leek Soup, the recipe for which is posted on her blog,

– Amy brought a fantastic Pea and Roasted-Garlic Crostini with Olives and Pecorino Cheese,

– Great minds think alike : Christoph and I both brought terrines from the latest issue of the French magazine Saveurs : he made the Sundried Tomato and Fish Terrine, while I made the Fresh Cheese and Vegetable Terrine, the recipe for which I will post soon,

– Jonathan and Malory brought a colorful Instantaneous Carrot Salad and a lovely Asparagus Tart,

– Alisa made a scrumptious and goodie-filled endive salad,

– And we ended all this on a delightful sweet note thanks to Pascale‘s Hazelnut Financiers (recipe on her blog) and Pistachio Tuiles, as well as Isabelle’s perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies (made from the famous Nieman-Marcus recipe).

And for the picture-curious among you, here are the friendly faces of Isabelle, Meg and Christoph, Pascale, Ethan, Suzanne and Maxence, David, Nicolas and Amy, Malory, Jonathan, Alisa and Peter. And I do wish that my pictures did them (and their dishes) better justice.

Below are some of the recipes from that night — the others will be added when their authors get a chance to type them up for us.

Isabelle’s Spring Vegetable Risotto

– 2 cups spring vegetables (asparagus tips, baby peas, etc)
– 1/4 cup light cream
– 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
– 1/3 cup grated parmesean
– 5 cups (approx.) broth
– 1/2 cup dry white wine
– 2 tbsp butter
– 1 tbsp oil
– 1/3 cup finely minced onion
– 1 1/2 cups arborio rice

Cook the veggies in water for about 3 minutes. Drain, run them under cold water, and set aside.

Bring the broth to a steady simmer in a pan.

Heat the butter and oil — add the onion and sauté for 1-2 minutes, being careful not to brown it. Add the rice, stir for 1 minute using a wooden spoon, making sure all the grains are well coated. Add the wine and stir until completely absorbed. Begin to add the simmering broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup (reserve about 1/4 cup to be added at the end). Stir frequently to prevent sticking.

After approx 18 minutes, when the rice is tender but still firm, add the reserved 1/4 cup broth and the blanched veggies, cream, parsley, and parmesan, and stir vigorously to combine the rice. Serve immediately.

(From “Risotto”, by Judith Barrett and Norma Wasserman)

Amy’s Pea and Roasted-Garlic Crostini with Olives and Pecorino Cheese

– 1 head garlic
– 1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 large French baguette, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
– Salt and freshly ground pepper
– 1 pound fresh peas, shelled, or 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas
– 1/4 cup slivered black olives
– 1/4 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F (~200°C). Cut top third off garlic head. Rub cut garlic with 1 teaspoon olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast in oven 45 minutes. Remove foil from garlic; allow to cool. In a medium bowl, squeeze pulp from cloves; set aside.

Meanwhile, using 1/4 cup olive oil, brush baguette slices; place on baking sheet. Toast in oven until golden brown, 4 to 7 minutes. Remove; cool to room temperature.

Bring 1 quart salted water to a boil; blanch peas, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and place in bowl with roasted garlic and remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Smash peas and garlic with fork until just chunky. Stir in olives and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with baguette slices.

(Recipe by Rori Trovato, O Magazine)

Jonathan’s Instantaneous Carrot Salad

1. Grate some carrots
2. Add some handfuls of raisins
3. Add some handfuls of toasted pine nuts or sunflower seeds (see below)
4. Mix in olive oil and balasmic vinegar in more or less equal proportions
5. Eat happily

Toasting seeds:
1. Put some oil into a frying pan
2. Cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of sunflower seeds or pine nuts
3. Salt and pepper
4. Cook on medium heat until the bottoms turn light brown, then stir
5. Repeat # 4 as need
6. Do not stand there stirring obsessively like some crazy person. This is not a productive use of your time. Just watch the color and the smell and stir a few times at the right moments.

Malory’s Asparagus tart

– 1 bunch green or white asparagus (trimmed)
– 1 cup creme fraiche (or heavy cream)
– 2 eggs
– 1.5 cups Gruyere or Cantal cheese (grated)
– .5 tsp nutmeg (or garam masala if you’ve married a man who doesn’t label his
spice jars!)
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 pastry shell

1) Line well-greased round dish with pastry dough. Fold over edge to create outer crust.
2) Steam asparagus for 8-10 minutes until tender but not mushy. Transfer to bowl of ice water to stop cooking. Drain well and pat dry with paper towels.
3) Whisk together cream, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg (or garam masala–it works!) Pour this custard into pastry shell.
4) Sprinkle 2/3 cheese on top of custard and then arrange asparagus spears like the spokes of a wheel with their tips out. Cover with remaining cheese.
5) Bake tart in middle of oven until custard is set, about 20 minutes.
6) Enjoy!

  • Hi Clotilde,
    What a clever idea to have done that with all the recipes and pictures.
    We’ll organize an edition at our place beginning of august as we’re on vacation in July. Have a good day.

  • Julie

    Thanks for sharing this lovely event with your readers. Was it deliberately a vegetarian evening, or did it just sort of happen that way? I wonder if I am alone among your readers hoping for recipes for all those fabulous dishes! I’m eagerly anticipating the cheese and veggie terrine, since I’m often desperate for something to bring to family events that will please both the vegetarians and the low-carbers! I can’t wait to try the spring veg risotto…but do you think we might have the recipe for the asparagus tart?

  • Thanks for showing the faces behind the names!

  • Clotilde, thanks so much for gathering and passing on the recipes – everything was delicious and I’m so glad I can now try to reproduce them! I really liked the peas and now I know why: don’t you love a recipe that starts with “one head of garlic”?? Thanks also to Isabelle for hosting such a charming evening! Steve and I would like to take our turn soon, too!

  • Seriously, it seems to have been a fantastic get-together. Everyone did a great job, didn’t they? The best part of a potluck party, personally, is that you can taste a bit of many dishes; I’d appreciate this “little bit of everything” way more than having one big hunk of something (typically steaks)… and it would be even better if there are such a big variety of vegetable dishes like that.
    Thanks for letting us catch a glimpse of the lovely evening!

  • Jennifer

    Isn’t it lovely to get together and eat with people you might hardly know — although after eating a meal together somehow you tend to know each other that much more.
    I hosted a similar soiree this past weekend with a group of “foodies”; we get together once a month, choose a theme and cook. And eat. And talk. Delicious and devine. I can’t wait to do it all over again.
    And, Clotilde — when I come to Paris you know whose door step I’ll be waiting on, toting some tart or sweet confection…

  • bryan

    I would love to know how the zuccchini was prepared. It looks lovely.

  • lucinda

    “Potluck” is not a term we use in Australia, I think it comes from the US. In Australia, we tell people to “bring a plate.” I’ve heard stories of non-Australians taking this instruction literally and arriving at the function with an empty plate. A confusing colloquialism!!

  • I enjoy your website and was excited to see your parisian version of something we do once a month here in Florida. We have a ‘gourmet group’ called Beyond Black-Eyed Peas. I post pictures, recipes and menus.
    I, too would love the recipes from that night.

  • Alisa

    Thank you so much Clotilde, for bringing us all together. And to Isabelle and Ethan, for getting the ball rolling! It was SUCH a wonderful evening. I too, will be hosting one, in the near future. The food was excellent, and second only to the company.
    P.S. Isabelle’s zucchini recipe is eagerly awaited.

  • Heidi

    Jonathan & Mallory make another unlike appearance! Who knew you both were so talented, food-wise? Mt. Rainer is still lovely, Steven & are I still dampish and the Fleur de Sel covers everything we eat. And Mallory: Why in blue blazes don’t I have your mailing address? I have your postcard above my desk and I gotta respond. Best, Best.- Heidi

  • oh, how i wish i lived in paris! i would love to join your beautiful potluck dinners. will meet the slowfood lot in london this friday, maybe there are some interesting people with whom I can bring to life a similar event over here! if not, i’ll just have to move to paris, won’t i?
    take care

  • christoph

    Salut Clotilde,
    thanks for your post about this nice event at Isabelles and Ethans place.It was really such an intresting and enjoyable evening and a pleasure to get to know all of you.

    I would like to add the recipe for the codfish terrine. Sorry for the metric measures.

    [Clipped by Clotilde : will publish the fish terrine recipe in a clean, new post!]

    A bientot

  • All – No worries, the missing recipes are making their way to you!

    Julie – No, it wasn’t a plan, it sort of accidentally turned out to be a vegetarian-friendly buffet! (Well, almost all vegetarian : there was fish in Christoph’s terrine, lardons in the endive salad and bacon bits sprinkled on the soup.)

    Chika – I’m with you, I love getting a little taste of many things, and this was really great, as everything on the buffet was oh-so-tempting. (Definitely *not* always the case with buffets. Limp shrimp, anyone?)

    Jennifer – By all means, it would be lovely to meet you!

    Lucinda – I love that “bring a plate” story! Poor guests, they must be mortified!

  • ethan

    Clotilde — I lost your e-mail address — but just stumbled upon this account of the pot luck, and the pix. thanks for posting.a

    Perhaps see you this weekend?


  • Desmartin

    Bonjour Clotilde de passage à Paris pour quelques heures je fais un petit tout sur votre site. C’est tojours aussi super.
    J’espère que vous nous ferez une démonstration de vos petits moules magiques pour les gâteaux de Noël.
    De mon côté je reviens de Bretagne oû je suis allée chercher l’antidote au stress parisien et beaucoup de délicieuses algues… Bonnes vacances si vous en prenez et à bientôt… Marion

  • Bonjour Marion, ta visite dans ces murs est toujours un plaisir! Mmm, des algues bretonnes, il faudra qu’on en parle, et avant la fin de l’été j’espère!

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