This is a unique and surprising book in so many ways. It’s a Parisian cookbook but it’s a vegetarian recipe book. It’s undoubtedly French but reflects the fresher dishes from the traditional repertoire. It’s a Paris-market cookbook, but those markets offer produce from across the country.
The author of French Market Cookbook – Vegetarian recipes from my Parisian kitchen is reassuringly French and a successful food blogger. Clotilde Dusoulier is one of the new breed of French food lovers who are confident in their knowledge of traditional ingredients, but able to use them in lighter, more contemporary ways.
The book is divided by season, making this ideal for those who want to visit their own markets – which probably won’t be French. Have a leaf through this book before shopping so you have an idea of possibilities, and then look for what’s freshest, best value or just takes your fancy.
The trees are turning golden and the summer has passed, and we crave warm comforting foods after a morning in the garden. Butternut and Celery Root Soup is a silky autumnal preparation that takes advantage of squashes that are abundant as the weather gets colder, and celery root which is more commonly known as celeriac. It is a dense root vegetable but with a mild flavour of celery – a marvellous foil for the sweetness of the butternut. Try this recipe with pumpkin when you have hollowed out a lantern head for Hallowe’en.
Figs seem exotic and luxurious to us in these northern climes, but they are at their cheapest and best in autumn. French Market Cookbook offers us a delightful yet simple dessert of a tart with a base of Breton shortbread (recipe provided) and quarters of figs arranged in an artistic fashion. This is a must-try.
My pick of the book is a winter suggestion of Mushroom and Chive Quiche. The author suggests an olive oil pastry crust but I am sure she would forgive any home cook who wants to use their favourite pastry dough: it’s the filling that’s the star here. True, this is a vegetarian dish but there is nothing skimpy or overly noble about this. The mushrooms are hearty and well-laced with cream. This is dinner-party fare and would work as a starter or a main course that would be enjoyed by even committed carnivores.
French Market Cookbook – Vegetarian recipes from my Parisian kitchen is a volume of flavourful recipes that just don’t happen to contain meat. It’s far from an exercise in beige and bland and it’s not a health-food book. It’s about taste – and it tastes delicious.
French Market Cookbook – Vegetarian recipes from my Parisian kitchen
Author: Clotilde Dusoulier
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018