29 April 2010

Pilot, er, cooks error...

Not everything I cook turns out lovely...

After the Pots de Creme recipe, I had 8 egg whites staring at me each time I opened the fridge...plus I want more Pots de Creme and I just couldn't until the other egg whites were gone! So, before grouting the new tile last night, I got out my trusty Julia Child's "Mastering the art of French Cooking"! Sure enough! "Souffle aux Blancs D'Oeufs" translated: Cheese Souffle with Egg Whites Only. Perfect! Page 173 of the cookery book (I'm not posting the recipe, but if you want it send me a comment and I will be happy to send to you!) and I got started! I did not have any Swiss cheeses in the house, so I used Cotswold, English Double Gloucester with Onions and Chives, in replacement. Cotswold is very popular at The Market, it's tasty and versatile! I also used heavy cream instead of "simmering light cream" with just a bit of water added.

Then something happened...not a good something. The butter/flour/cream sauce got all funky. So, I folded in the egg whites anyway and it was delicious...not beautiful or very light, but tasty! I might have used the wrong size souffle dish as well...seriously, my cabinets only hold so much! I did not take pictures...(too busy shoveling the souffle into mouth) who wants to see an ugly souffle?! I did not have time to regret not doing photos...that grout was screaming my name (I still have 2 more days of it, and it looks darn good!)! Here's hoping YOUR souffle turns out beautiful! Maybe I should have put on a "Julia" apron and said Bon Appetit first?

27 April 2010

Rhubarb + Booze = Bliss

Nothing symbolizes Spring like Rhubarb. From the first scary bumps poking through the soil, to the huge leaves unfurling with a peek of bright magenta stalks. While I love the first 3 recipes I make with it, near the end of the season, I've had enough and the rest gets chopped and thrown into the freezer or this recipe courtesy of Nigella Lawson.

1 1/4 lb rhubarb, cut and trimmed to 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 liter vodka

Coat Rhubarb with sugar in a large jar with tight fitting lid. Pour Vodka over and shake. Shake every other day for the first month or so then store in a cool dark place for at least 6 weeks and up to 6 months. Strain through cheesecloth before using.

I absolutely love Nigella's cookbooks! (I have all of them) Her approach to being creative with her recipes paired with enthusiasm for food and cooking, are all the things I love about cooking! I also love the fact she's not so fussy about putting things together (it's all about the flavor!) and yet they turn out great!

John and I especially have fun making fruity cocktails in the summer, but I also love to pour a shot of boozey flavor onto sponge cakes or into marinades and sauces! This works perfectly, as it is not too sweet! A "Rhubarb-tini" is mighty fine in the dog days of summer!

26 April 2010

Rainy day projects...

I'm not on a quest for "House Beautiful", I would be happy with "House Nice"! So the rainy days have gotten me busy. This week's mission is to repaint the living room and trim. For the record, I hate painting trim. It's a thankless, ugly job that takes so much time, just to be scuffed and dusty in 2 weeks or less! But I'm doing it...ugh!

John created supper last night (I was exhausted, see above) and it was delicious! The salad was the star of the show; Greens, smoked cheddar, sliced apples and walnuts with the best dressing of:

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Sherry Vinegar
2-3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup (the real stuff, we have local at The Market)

Put all ingredients in a glass jar and shake until emulsified!

Next on the agenda is decor...are cookbooks considered decor? The household says "NO!" So today I may try my hand at oil painting all these rainy day colors into a masterpiece.

By the way, the photo is not representative of the living room...I went with a green color. Feel free to leave comments on the plum, it's for the dining room! The tile is the new kitchen backsplash!

22 April 2010

Pots de Creme au Chocolat

Three days of beautiful sunshine has gotten me moving! On the "list" this month has been getting the deck in shape. In previous years, a transparent stain has been great...this year we have moved to "full coverage". (I understand this feeling all too well. I, too, am at a full coverage stage!) "Patina" does not describe the condition of my old friend, the potting bench...it too needed attention. So a lovely coat of chocolate brown, semi-transparent stain got me aching for real chocolate! The deck is finished, the potting bench ready to bring forth many containers of happy plants and I have Pots de Creme au Chocolate to eat and enjoy the fruit of my labors!

While in France, we could not believe the yogurt containers! Terracotta, glazed and glass pots full of fabulous full cream yogurt studded with vanilla beans or fruits. We ate them as late night snacks, dessert and breakfast! John thought I was a teeny bit crazy for bringing home all of the containers...until he ate these pots full of deliciousness!

You can make Pots de Creme without chocolate by adding vanilla beans or extracts (like lemon or orange) or even instant espresso powder! I used Callebaut bittersweet chocolate, that we sell at The Boulevard Market by the pound. It was the perfect balance of rich chocolate to sweetness.

I love individual desserts, it creates the feel of something special and restaurant like! Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and fresh blackberries and demitasse spoons for a French cafe ambiance!


2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
1/2 pound best quality Bittersweet Chocolate (chopped)
8 egg yolks
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large saucepan, bring milk and sugar to a boil, add chocolate pieces and return to boil, stirring constantly until chocolate has melted.
In an extra large measuring cup (easier for pouring in next step) whisk egg yolks and eggs together and gradually add hot chocolate mixture.
Pour into 8- 1/2 cup ramekins and place in a larger pan filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the ramekins. (I used a 9X13 pan)

Bake for 20-30 minutes until chocolate is set.

Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish as desired!

20 April 2010

Gardening in the south bed

Doesn't it sound like I have an estate in England when I say that? That is not the case! (Today commenced the first day of "Graduation Party in 2 months, countdown nightmare".) My south bed is about 30 feet long and 15 feet deep and used to be a really sunny spot in my yard with many perennials. Time has passed and trees have shaded this bed, perennials have disappeared and some shrubs have been added. It was time to do an overhaul with what I had on hand.

I dug and hauled, replanted and moved, sat back and looked...not too shabby! The Clematis, roses, hydrangea, butterfly bush, red bud and wiegela are my anchors and everything else is filling in. I moved an immense amount of hollyhocks (cross your fingers they are happy) and dug out tons of lemon verbena.

I think I can add a few pots of creeping annuals around the rock border and viola! I do need new lavender plants, mine did not make it this winter, and I love them to bake and cook with it.

It was such fun to play in the dirt surrounded by blooming tulips and phlox, listening to the bees in the blooming redbud tree. I made fresh lemonade, put up the patio umbrella and listened to John swear at the rototiller! The sweet life!

Thought you might like our favorite lemon verbena recipe:

Raspberries in Lemon Verbena Gel

2 1/2 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 cup lemon verbena sprigs, lightly packed
2 tsp unflavored gelatin (that’s 1 packed minus 1/2 tsp)
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh raspberries

1. Heat 2 1/4 c water with the sugar in a small saucepan.
2. As soon as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat, stir in the lemon verbena and cover and steep for 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, sprinkle the gelatin over the remaining 1/4 c water and let it swell.
4. Strain the verbena syrup.
5. Stir the gelatin into the hot liquid until it dissolves.
6. Cool to room temperature.
7. Stir in the lemon juice.
8. Arrange the berries in dessert glasses.
9. Pour the gelatin over them and chill until firm.

These look beautiful in martini glasses, tall shot glasses or small, clear ramekins. Sliced fruit didn't make as nice of a presentation, but still tasted great!

16 April 2010

French dish a la Erika!

At my birthday supper, in Paris, Gina and Jamie ordered a dish something like this for their appetizer (entree, I know, very confusing!). Theirs was made with St Marceillin cheese, but I chose Reblochon cheese for this dish!

It was delivered in beautiful little terracotta crocks, steamy, creamy and rich! You can alter any vegetable for the mushrooms and play around using whatever ravioli and herbs you have on hand. Feel free to put it in a medium casserole dish, or individuals!

1 1/2 cups Dry cheese filled Ravioli (in the pasta section)

3 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms

3 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 pound Reblochon Cheese (remove rind)
1 Tablespoon fresh chives, chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Cook ravioli according to package directions.
Saute mushrooms in butter until lightly browned.
In a medium saucepan, melt 3 T of butter, add flour and brown. Slowly add cream, bring to a boil and boil until sauce has thickened slightly. Add cheese and stir until melted.

Pour into a casserole dish, or individual casseroles, bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes.

I served ours with grilled chicken drizzled with Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Lemon and minced Chervil and a green salad.

Sunday Sights; Eiffel Tower

Sunday Morning we braved the metro, it was very simple and we listened to a man playing his trumpet for a bit of change! On our way to Paris' most beloved sight of the Eiffel Tower. It was magnificent! We entered from the south and walked up through the grand gardens, with people having picnics, walking dogs and hanging out. The closer we got, we realized the structure is absolutely huge! We decided not to go up, as the top floor was closed and the lines were tremendously long, so we wandered around the perimeter, enjoyed a beautiful garden with a waterfall and soaked up the sun!

Lunch was at a small cafe several blocks south of the tower, on a lively street with a market and throngs of people! I was in the mood for pasta, but you can imagine my surprise when my "Carbonara" was delivered to the table! What to do? I stirred it up and ate it! In the wise words of my 15 year old daughter, Jamie, "MOM, they are probably from a farm!"

The carbonara was delicious, and I forgot about the raw egg as soon as I had a sip of the Sauvignon Blanc sitting to my left!

Don't you want to try this at home?!?!?!

Chateaux at Amboise

What an amazing structure the Chateaux was! Located on the Loire River, it was a grand sight! This was the first time visiting a castle for me and what an adventure. It was easy to imagine a princess standing on a balcony overlooking the river! The church holds the supposed remains of Leonardo da Vinci, apparently he was quite involved in Amboise and lived in another chateaux nearby. The formal gardens were spectacular, as was simple things like decorative floor tiles and ironwork on the doors! We really enjoyed our morning here...think I could get away with formal gardens in Macon? Maybe just a formal kitchen garden? I'm working up the plans as we speak!

Our train back to Paris was delayed a bit, so supper was a challenge...until Jamie and I went to the grocery!

We picked up the freshest eggs, haricot verts, lardons (almost like chopped bacon), Poilane bread and potatoes. We had some cheese, butter and herbs. Viola! 15 minutes and one of the best meals! A bottle of Chenin Blanc from Amboise (AOC Touraine) and we were settled in for the night! It was a beautiful day full of history, warm sunshine, great food and french culture!

15 April 2010

Pizza with Terrior

French pizza? These folks are giving the Italians a run for the money! We chose this restaurant on the advice of our friend, Sandra, and what fun we had! The restaurant is family owned and operated and offered at least 30 pizzas and a slew of other great things! For a prie fixe of entree, plat & dessert, I chose a pork pate for my entree and it arrived with a small side of salad and cornichons. I chose my pizza with a light mustard sauce, mozzarella, ham, camembert and apples. For dessert...Creme Brulee! YES! A local Gamay wine rounded out the dinner! Casual and fabulous, just what we needed to relax and enjoy ourselves!

John needed an anchovie fix, so he ordered his with olives, capers and anchovies...lovely fillets and beautiful balanced flavor...with Chocolate Mousse for dessert!
The girls (Julia and Jamie) both chose 4 Fromages pizzas, sorbet and creme brulee, respectively for desserts.

We about fell off our charis when dessert arrived...they were huge! We did find the ability to finish them, however!

After a final view of the castle from our bedroom window...it was a day to treasure and remember! I fell asleep dreaming of kings...

14 April 2010


Got a little behind with the blogs...This post should be 09 April 2010. The 9am train to Amboise left about 1pm instead and we were off to the Loire Valley! A beautiful 2 hour train ride through the countryside was a welcome chance to chill and talk and snack with each other. I was disappointed to have missed the morning farmers market in Amboise, but oh well. Our friend Sandra graciously helped us get all of our train and hotel reservations for Amboise and we are excited!

We could see the Chateaux from the train, and began walking across the river! It was a beautiful day and Amboise is like a little fairytale city with it's winding cobblestone streets and old, slate roof homes! Absolutely charming!

Le Blason was an interesting place to stay (I'll put up a seperate post about it!) and we were in the heart of the old city with lots to do!

After a stop for coffee, we visited a wine seller cut into the Chateaux that represented 9 local wine makers and a goat cheese producer about 3km away! The wines of this region tend to be Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Gamay. Absolutely fantastic and we took a few bottles with us! Some were a fresher style and others aged in oak for a bit heartier body!

The cheese was phenomonal! The large one was fresh goat with ash and Roquefort cultures added, yet not allowed to age blue. Sweet, creamy with a bit of saltiness and fresh, fresh taste! The small "crottin" was also covered in ash, and more dense because of a longer aging, yet that sweet milk flavor just poured through. So nice!

Tonight; pizza and desserts!

12 April 2010

Birthday Supper

Whoops...we are moving at the speed of light in Paris to experience many things and ensure everyone sleeps well! I forgot to show you photos of my birthday supper. We decided on a tiny bistro in the Marais, about 25 seats and a lovely Prie Fixe menu and wine list called Le Petite Curieux. Our French is pretty shabby, but we could discern most of the foods on the menu, but not necessarily how they were prepared....hmmm, interesting! Our waitress/hostess knew very little english.

I went with the foie gras as an "entree" (appetizer) and got 2 half inch thick slices with tiny piles of salt and pepper. Indescribable and melt in your mouth! You have got to love a country that eats as much foie gras as France!

My "plat" was Tartare de Boeuf...Beef Tartare prepared with cornichons, capers and onions, lightly held together with a delicate mustard sauce! It was absolutely perfect! Add some tiny fresh potatoes brushed with butter, and a mixture of greens with vinaigrette, VIOLA!

John, Gina and Jamie had a duck confit with a sort of North African flair of warm spices and potatoes all wrapped in phyllo...so good! The chef made Julia a special plate of all vegetables with an aioli sauce...it was fresh and delicious as well!

A nice, young Cabernet Franc was the perfect wine pairing for these dishes!

We had stopped at the boulangerie earlier and picked up my birthday cake! Opera cake and Tarte Limon...we are full, but theres always room for dessert and coffee!

It was a special birthday to be in France with all of the family...I feel very grateful.

11 April 2010

Making due ...

On Friday, our original 9am train from Paris to Amboise was cancelled and we were across town from the apartment...so we made the best of 5 hours, by walking across the street to Paris' Musuem of Natural History and Zoo! We meandered thru the grand gardens and visited the zoo. The zoo was an interesting blend of leopards, snakes, birds, etc...and a huge donkey! The donkey didn't say a word until a group of preschoolers came over and then he went nuts! It was adorable! The whole time was chill and natural and beautiful with trees and flowers in bloom.

At Gare d'Austerlitz we finally started the journey to Amboise. I had never had the opportunity to purchase a train ticket that didn't guarantee you a seat (?!?!?!) so it was a bit chaotic boarding the trains.

On to Amboise!

08 April 2010

Is this a Farmers Market or what?

On our way to the Musee du Louvre today via foot on a busy boulevard, Rue du Turbigo, we happened upon 2 of my "don't miss" points in Paris! The 1st was a visit to E Dehillerin, a cookware paradise! It was a tight fit, literally, but I left with Birthday treasures! The tiny terrine pans, copper pots, and everything in between had my name on them, however I controlled myself and purchased a few must-haves: knives, wooden pate spreaders, a square tart pan and "Le Repertoire de la Cuisine" book! The girls and John surprised me with an omelet pan later in the evening...I nearly took it to bed with me, I was so excited!

The 2nd must see was the street market and it was phenomenal. Interesting area and the whole street was shut down. I took many photos and bags home, I could not resist the madelains and gateaux, the girls could not resist the racks of clothing! John was sniffing pans full of Paella and oogling the seafood! The "Madame"s start as soon as you pull out your Euros! It was festive, smelly, beautiful...purely heaven!

I have lots to talk about this day, but will save for another post! We are off to my Birthday celebration! Au Revoir!

Travels & Food

In my opinion there are moments that are life altering. Today was that day! We awoke early after a 2am family pow-wow...it seemed like morning?!?! Place des Vosges, Bastille and Notre Dame are on the agenda. These sites are in a reasonable walking distance from the apartment and we set out! Place des Vosges has a fabulous feel with it's many fountains, trees lined up like soldiers and historical buildings as it's backdrop. We strolled the covered shopping area and sat down for people watching and enjoying the sunshine. We moved on down to the Bastille and felt the gold angel on top watching for us! It was a lovely site representing French history. We walked Henry IV Boulevard on the Seine river side and soaked up the nature around us. We crossed over the Seine halfway to walk the tiny island! We began to see peaks of Notre Dame and soon crossed the river on a foot bridge (with a 4 piece band singing Elvis Presley in English...what?) and arrived!

As we entered the enormous wood and ironworked doors, a hush fell over the people as we took in the stained glass windows, ceiling buttress' and stone monuments. AMAZING...my life has changed to be here today. At once, I see both my insignificance and significance in this world. I lit candles and prayed today at Notre Dame. I am blessed to be here with my family.

07 April 2010


I LOVE PARIS! Surprisingly friendly, always a "Bon Jour" and "Merci", even on the streets...not at all what I had heard people talk about. the French have been very patient with us and willing to help us order, give directions, cut cheese and pate and give us room on the sidewalks. I like that all prices are displayed in the windows with the items for sale (easy to know whether it's affordable or not!) and the window displays are absolutely so beautiful! I have been inspired to make my windows at the Market lovely too! We picked a lovely Vin du Pays from the Savoie (white) from this wine merchant and Gina picked out a lovely white bordeaux. Julia selected the nasty-ist, gray skinned goat cheese (delicious!) from the fromagerie and we have been frequent patrons to the cafe across the street, note my cappucino from this am!

Bon Jour!

We arrived in Le Marais yesterday at 1pm local time and LOVE the apartment! French, tiny and charming! As we were completely jet lagged, yet not too tired to find some fromage (cheese) and baguettes we set off to explore our neighborhood. The Marais district is a lovely neighborhood with many bakeries, fromageries, wine shops and cafes. We explored the local grocery store, florist and Enfants Rouges, Paris' oldest covered market. While many vendors were not open, we found some beautiful produce, homemade ravioli ( from a Napoli native) wine, tangines dinners, cheese, mushrooms and more! (See photo of our dinner, and more on Facebook; The Boulevard Market) While jet lag was making monsters of us all, we had a lovely cheese/baguette supper in our apartment complete with Cahors Malbec. Magnificent! Raw milk Vacherin Mont d'or, tiny, creamy, Brebis, hard, green/grey nubs of goat cheese and garlicky Gaperon. Meat and vegetables consisted of Fresh Mozzarella rolled with arugula, proscuitto, sundried tomatoes...

I have to say, I'm surprised at how many cheeses are the same as we carry at The Market! I am so excited that we can procure such great stuff for Tecumseh-ites!

I am looking forward to breakfast at our local Boulangerie, tomorrow is on to tourist sites of Notre Dame, Bastille, Place des Vosges and the Jewish area of the Marais.

If you haven't had cheese for supper, still on the paper, broken baguette and a slice of pate...do it today and experience Paris through flavor!

05 April 2010

Spring Cupcakes!

Easter gets me in the mood to fuss a bit in the kitchen and I had all those pretty pansies...so here was our Easter dessert!

If you tell me you don't like cupcakes, I know you are lying! There is something irresistible about tiny cakes with fluffy frosting, and they are small, so less guilt than that big chunk of cake. I do not care for boxed mixes, so this is a little standby recipe that makes 12 delicious, moist cupcakes and a butter cream frosting that you will eat by the spoonful (go ahead, I won't tell!)

The frosting does make a large batch and I have been unsuccessful in halving it, so I just plan to make 2 batches of cupcakes and share them with friends and family.

Pansies are edible...or go with sprinkles. I am including a list of edible flowers for this recipe or salads....they do add a bit of romance to lots of dishes!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
7 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup self rising flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2-3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease 12 cup muffin tin or use paper cups. Cream butter and sugar together in mixing bowl. Add 1 egg until completely blended and then half of the flour, add remaining egg and remaining flour. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until a batter forms. This doesn't seem like it will fill 12 cups but it will! Bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup orange juice
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
20 tablespoons butter, room temp
1 cup powdered sugar

In a small saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, salt and orange juice. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and add extract.

Lightly beat egg yolks in a medium bowl, add half of orange juice mixture and combine, add to remaining orange juice mixture and mix until combined. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter until fluffy. Beat in orange juice mixture and powdered sugar. Can be refrigerated up to 3 days.

Johnny Jump Ups
Violets and violas

Memories of Focaccia

Life is crazy again and yet I yearn to do a little something special for supper! Focaccia bread is just the thing! We had homemade focaccia bread in Matera, Italy and this recipe takes me back to that mountainous, misty area with goats running across the twisty roads, ancient olive trees and fresh goat yogurt from a bucket. We were welcomed to the home of olive oil and cheese producers in a movie setting! (The Passion of the Christ was filmed in Matera) It was one of the most memorable and beautiful places I've seen to date! We ate focaccia bread with different toppings, wine, goat yogurt with chestnut honey and a lovely lemon tart.

The smell of bread baking is so instinctively comforting and hunger inducing! I've never experienced an angry person in my kitchen while bread is baking! (This includes teenagers, small children and animals!) I use a 10 inch stoneware dish for this bread, so I prefer to split the dough in half for a bit thinner bread, or you can use a larger jelly roll pan for the whole batch!

I have also changed the yeast in this recipe for INSTANT yeast. This really cuts down the time required to make bread, but does leave a more yeasty flavor behind. Feel free to use dry active yeast and proof accordingly. This dough also keeps well in the fridge for fresh focaccia in about 45 minutes!


1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
1 ¼ cups hot water (115 degrees)
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

In your mixing bowl, blend water, yeast, 1 Tablespoon of EVOO and sugar. Add all of the flour and salt. Using the dough hook, blend at low speed until dough forms ball on hook. Continue kneading additional 3-4 minutes until dough looks shiny and all flour has been incorporated.

Coat dough with 2 Tablespoons EVOO and let double in size (about 15 minutes), punch down. Liberally oil (with EVOO) a 12-13” round pan and press half of the dough into bottom. Make depressions with your fingertips. Let rise until dough has doubled (15-30 minutes) and add toppings, drizzle with EVOO and sprinkle with salt.

Bake 450 degrees for 25-35 (whole batch of dough or 18 minutes for a half batch of dough) minutes until golden brown and dough has cooked through.

Herbs, cheeses, tomatoes, anchovies, roasted peppers, salami, spinach. The sky is the limit on toppings!

Our favorite is: add 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary and 1/4 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano to dough. Top with 3 Tablespoons each: grated Romano and Fontina and a few more sprigs of Rosemary.

02 April 2010


This week I have been changing gears and getting Spring projects done. Closet cleaning, touching up paint (sort of- I bought the paint and brush!) putting out the patio furniture, washing curtains, etc. (We won't discuss that the cats are furious or my Lysol induced migraine!) We leave for Paris next week and I thought it would be nice to come home to a clean (er) place!

I love the what the whole putzing around the house does for my soul. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I open up tidy linen closets or see the sun shining through clean windows! I am trying to eliminate some STUFF in my house, so this feeling happens more frequently. I'm not on "hoarder" status, but that show scares the heck out of me and I've started making regular trips to Goodwill!

I got the most pleasure out of 2 projects, planting purple pansies in my window boxes and making a potato green bean salad. I guess it's always the little things!

This salad combines my most favorite foods and I ate the first batch standing up at the counter! I shared the 2nd batch with the family and the 3rd with my spring cooking class. All in the same week! (We are having it on Easter Sunday too!) Soft creamy potatoes, just crisp, bright green beans and a hint of licorice in the tangy vinaigrette! The salad would pair up great with any grilled meats or ham, some fresh bread and cheese! I drank it with Santa Guistina's Malvasia, a lovely white wine from Italy that has a bit of floral essesence and the perfectly balanced acidity you need for a salad course!


2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon Sambuca
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup Extra virgin Olive Oil (best quality)

1 ½ lbs. red potatoes cut into 1 inch chunks
¾ pound Haricot Verts (tiny, skinny green beans) blanched (3-4 minutes in boiling water)
½ Red Onion, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme
½ cup Parsley, finely chopped
½ cup tiny black olives
Combine the first 7 ingredients in a glass jar, or shaker and shake vigorously to combine. This can be made several days in advance.
Boil potatoes until tender about 20 minutes and blanch green beans. You want the beans to be bright green and retain a bit of snap. Drain.

Combine potatoes, onion, green beans and herbs, coat with vinaigrette and toss to coat. Do about an hour in advance for the best flavor! This salad is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.