Friday, 25 April 2014

No time to cook? Grilled ricotta and courgette salad

Spring is such a wonderful season. After long months of brown and beige food it's very refreshing to see some colour on the store shelves again. And with produce that is local, not exported from south america or Spain. In Spring, everything is small but full of flavour. Here I want to share a vibrant, simple plate of food just perfect for this season.
There is not much to say about this salad – it is as charmingly simple and straightforward as it appears . I'm sure you could replicate it even without the recipe. I have come across this dish while on a trip in Australia and i was bold over by its simplicity, yet exciting taste. Its fresh and light, the perfect lunch for a warm day. You can substitute the apricots for different fruit, figs for example or use different nuts, almonds will work nicely here.
To make this salad you will need some fresh ricotta, rocket leaves, nuts, olive oil, apricots,  baby courgettes, salt and pepper. 

Put a little bit of olive oil on the pan and fry the ricotta until golden. Cut baby courgettes in half lengthways and add them to the pan and cook until lightly brown and soft. Then put some rocket leaves on the plate, place the grilled ricotta in the middle. If you wish you can place the ricotta on a slice of toasted bread. Put the baby courgettes and nuts on the top of your ricotta. Garnish the salad with some fresh sliced apricot or figs. Taste and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. 
Lets start this season in a healthy way. 

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

"Du Pain et Des Idées"

«Du Pain et des Idées» is Paris’ prettiest bakery of traditional handcraft located near Canal St. Martin. The bakery dates back to 1889 and was re-envisioned by former fashion industry executive Christophe Vasseur in 2002.

All of the breads and pastries are made the most traditional way (here, a baguette is made in seven hours) and with the best ingredients (only fresh, seasonal fruit is used for the pastries.)

This bakery is full of flavours, a little wonderland full of exciting products. The star however is their signature bread "Pain des amis", with a thick caramelised crust, aerated middle and slightly nutty flavour. Christophe recommends to eat it with a good slice of ham, a Pata Negra or a piece of Bellota. Alain Ducasse serves this bread in his restaurant at the Plaza Athénée.

You should also taste the «Brioche Mouna», a traditional North African speciality. It's a butter brioche with orange blossom. Its so fragrant, its possible to smell it before you even walk inside. It is delicious with just a smear of salted butter.