French Friday

Fig Tarte with Goat Cheese

The French often use figs as a feature in salads, along with a sharp tasting cheese; very often paired with goat cheese. The best figs in France come from around the village of Sollliès. This fig has a violet coloured skin with a rich red flesh. Remember that figs do not ripen after they are picked from the tree, so it’s important to choose the ripeness of the fig at the time of picking.

Here we have a simple tart which can be served with rocket or a light salad as a lunch.

Provencal Zucchini Tart

This Provencal tart is packed with flavour, thanks to the beautiful herbs used. It can be served warm, or at room temperature with a green salad. You can use a bought sheet pastry, but I made a quick shortcrust pasty which I prefer to make myself.

Artichokes with Roast Potato and Sage

Artichokes are a domesticated type of thistle, which in France, are grown mainly on Brittany’s northern coast. French Purple is a traditional French variety which produces very tasty artichoke hearts. It is a perennial vegetable and will grow for many years to a height of about a metre and a half.

This recipe has simple ingredients, but the combination of them all, along with the herbs used, create a very flavoursome dish of vegetables to have with any meal.

Olives Huileuses

This is a fun way to enjoy a Martini, in fact a reverse Martini. Here we have olives soaked in Gin and Vermouth.

Fennel and Tomato Gratin

The fennel plant is used widely in French cuisine to intensify flavours in meat, vegetables, seafood and stews. The roots of the fennel plant are the vegetable, while and the seeds and leaves are the herbs. The fennel seeds are part of the blend in Herbs de Provence, which are a combination of herbs used often in French cooking.

Charlotte Three Cheese Quiche

This is a crustless quiche made in two stages; quiche first, then the wall of semi-sweet pastry tongues arranged around it.

The French often use a hint of sugar in their pastries so don’t balk at the addition of sugar to this recipe.

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