Tag Archives: vegetables

Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

18 Apr
Spring vegetables waiting for the chop

Spring vegetables waiting for the chop

I’ve just cooked and devoured the first ‘Jardiere’ of the season.  I normally follow Mamy Jeanne’s recipe (listed below in this post), but hang on a minute!  I’ve just found in the collection, a version by the lovely Francoise Bernard!…

'Les Recettes Faciles' (easy Recipes) by Francoise Bernard, Librairie Hachette, 1965

‘Les Recettes Faciles’ (easy Recipes) by Francoise Bernard, Librairie Hachette, 1965

Francoise Bernard's version

Francoise Bernard’s version

Here’s Mamy Jeanne’s version from an older post…

Bon appetit.

pea

It’s the season of peas.  How delicious and sweet they are – served in the pods as a nibble during the aperitif, or boiled or steamed.  I grew up with my fair share of them – Mum always hid them in the mashed potato –  and I loved them like that even if ‘green’ was a no-go zone at the time.  But I must say that the peas we ate were more of the frozen in a bag variety (feeding a family takes a lot of shelling I now realise).  Now it’s a delight to find so many fresh peas around at the markets and Lilas and I’ve had a great time sitting amongst the rows of vineyards (Benjamin uses them as a ‘green fertiliser’) picking and eating them.

Lilas shelling peas for Mum

Lilas shelling peas with her mum

A couple of years ago, my parents-in-law brought Mamy Jeanne with them to stay at our place (Mamy Jeanne is Benjamin’s maternal grandmother and ever since my arrival in France has been a huge support – even when my French was non-existant and communication was conveyed by gestures).  Not one to sit around and enjoy  being waited on , Mamy wanted to help contribute to the numerous family reunions we were having that week and prepare a few of her favourite Spring dishes from over the years.  And we’re talking a few Springtimes here – Mamy is 90 and also been known to wield a ping-pong bat in games against the great-grandchildren.

Mamy Jacqueline et Mamy Jeanne

I just love this photo of the two Mamys: Here is Mamy Jeanne on the right and Mamy Jacqueline on the left. Tres stylish femmes!

Jardiniere de Legumes

Jardiniere de Legumes

So I took Mamy to the local market and she was very keen to buy up on the peas.  She wanted to show me how to make a Jardiniere de Legumes (as one of my husband’s favourite dishes, it was almost a family duty to add this to the repertoire) and I was very eager to hover over the stove as she did it.

When the peas are abundant in Spring and you have the arrival of the other ‘legumes nouveaux’ (new vegetables), this dish is served on many French tables.  It’s extremely easy, colourful and healthy. We had some Australian friends to stay recently and with a couple of vegetarians amongst them, it was a perfect meal.

Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

(please note that quantities are approximate – I vary them, depending on how it looks in the pot)

 

ingredients:

10 or so lettuce leaves (any type of green salad leaf)

10 carrots

10 potatoes

6 turnips

4 onions – or about 8-10 new baby onions

367 432 peas (that’s what it seems like – but make it about 800g, unshelled)

bay leaves

fresh thyme

butter, olive oil

salt, pepper

salted pork (this is optional – depending on how you feel and if there any any vegos)

 

method:

First I like to fry the onion in a good chunk of butter and olive oil until almost golden as I enjoy the sweetness (and easier for hubby to digest).

(I read a recipe where a women likes to caramelize a bit of sugar in her pot first, but I really don’t think you need to when the new vegetables are so sweet and fresh)

Once onion is done, add the salad leaves and stir well until leaves are floppy.  If using pork, add now too.

            Then add the carrots, potatoes, turnips, all cut into random, small chunks (some like to perfectly dice each vegetable but I think this looks too neat!), and herbs.

            Add water to the pot, until vegetables are just covered, close lid and simmer after boiling for about one hour – or until vegetables are to your liking (the French have a reputation for very well-cooked vegetables, something unheard of in the Asian-focused cuisine so popular in Australia!)

Remember to add the shelled peas about half-an hour into the cooking time.  I don’t like to add them from the beginning as they can get mushy.

 

Serve on its own or as an accompaniment to veal, pork or chicken, with a big pot of French mustard on the side.

served up

served up

Advertisements

Treats from our neighbours

19 Jul
vegie's from our neighbours

can't beat this for a gift, a vegie box from our friends in the village

Some presents are better than others.

And this has to be one of the best.  A vegie box from our friends in the village.  I collected Lilas from a morning of play with their granddaughter and they presented me with this beautiful box of produce from their ‘potager’ (vegetable patch).

The box was so fresh and gleaming with colour I couldn’t wait to take a photo of it!  I’m sure our friends thought I was a bit bonkers when I told them that.

A ratatouille is on the way with this stuff…

Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

15 Jun

pea

It’s the season of peas.  How delicious and sweet they are – served in the pods as a nibble during the aperitif, or boiled or steamed.  I grew up with my fair share of them – Mum always hid them in the mashed potato –  and I loved them like that even if ‘green’ was a no-go zone at the time.  But I must say that the peas we ate were more of the frozen in a bag variety (feeding a family takes a lot of shelling I now realise).  Now it’s a delight to find so many fresh peas around at the markets and Lilas and I’ve had a great time sitting amongst the rows of vineyards (Benjamin uses them as a ‘green fertiliser’) picking and eating them.

Lilas shelling peas for Mum

Lilas shelling peas with her mum

A couple of years ago, my parents-in-law brought Mamy Jeanne with them to stay at our place (Mamy Jeanne is Benjamin’s maternal grandmother and ever since my arrival in France has been a huge support – even when my French was non-existant and communication was conveyed by gestures).  Not one to sit around and enjoy  being waited on , Mamy wanted to help contribute to the numerous family reunions we were having that week and prepare a few of her favourite Spring dishes from over the years.  And we’re talking a few Springtimes here – Mamy is 90 and also been known to wield a ping-pong bat in games against the great-grandchildren.

Mamy Jacqueline et Mamy Jeanne

I just love this photo of the two Mamys: Here is Mamy Jeanne on the right and Mamy Jacqueline on the left. Tres stylish femmes!

Jardiniere de Legumes

Jardiniere de Legumes

So I took Mamy to the local market and she was very keen to buy up on the peas.  She wanted to show me how to make a Jardiniere de Legumes (as one of my husband’s favourite dishes, it was almost a family duty to add this to the repertoire) and I was very eager to hover over the stove as she did it.

When the peas are abundant in Spring and you have the arrival of the other ‘legumes nouveaux’ (new vegetables), this dish is served on many French tables.  It’s extremely easy, colourful and healthy. We had some Australian friends to stay recently and with a couple of vegetarians amongst them, it was a perfect meal.

Mamy Jeanne’s Jardiniere de Legumes

(please note that quantities are approximate – I vary them, depending on how it looks in the pot)

 

ingredients:

10 or so lettuce leaves (any type of green salad leaf)

10 carrots

10 potatoes

6 turnips

4 onions – or about 8-10 new baby onions

367 432 peas (that’s what it seems like – but make it about 800g, unshelled)

bay leaves

fresh thyme

butter, olive oil

salt, pepper

salted pork (this is optional – depending on how you feel and if there any any vegos)

 

method:

First I like to fry the onion in a good chunk of butter and olive oil until almost golden as I enjoy the sweetness (and easier for hubby to digest).

(I read a recipe where a women likes to caramelize a bit of sugar in her pot first, but I really don’t think you need to when the new vegetables are so sweet and fresh)

Once onion is done, add the salad leaves and stir well until leaves are floppy.  If using pork, add now too.

            Then add the carrots, potatoes, turnips, all cut into random, small chunks (some like to perfectly dice each vegetable but I think this looks too neat!), and herbs.

            Add water to the pot, until vegetables are just covered, close lid and simmer after boiling for about one hour – or until vegetables are to your liking (the French have a reputation for very well-cooked vegetables, something unheard of in the Asian-focused cuisine so popular in Australia!)

Remember to add the shelled peas about half-an hour into the cooking time.  I don’t like to add them from the beginning as they can get mushy.

 

Serve on its own or as an accompaniment to veal, pork or chicken, with a big pot of French mustard on the side.

served up

served up

to market to market… part 2: Valerie’s garden

19 May

Le Jardin de Valerie

Back towards Pierre and Laetitia, on the same side is Valerie’s ‘garden’…

Valerie at the yesterday's market

Valerie of ‘Le Jardin de Valerie’

‘Le Jardin de Valerie’ is the one of the most enticing stands…  Her tables are lined with beautiful baskets laden with luminous green salads, rocket, mini broccolis, mini cabbages, shiny yellow ‘courgettes’/ zucchinis, celeriac, the best potatoes I’ve eaten in a long time and an enticing array of home-made ‘gelees’ and confitures (jams).  The jelly made of muscat is a beautiful accompaniment to a chunk of aged ‘brebis’/ sheep’s milk (where are you Vincent?!?… your Brebis de Napoleon was the one of the best cheeses we’ve ever had.  You are missed at the markets!).

valerie and her produce

Valerie’s produce

It’s not officially ‘organic’ produce, but Valerie’s principles are the same – cultivation with full respect for the environment, minimal water use and ‘lutte biologique’/ biological pest control.  Compared to a lot of other fruit and vegetable producers you see at the markets, it’s by no means a big stand but in this scale, I’m reminded that all these beautiful vegetables are the product of one woman’s dedication and energy.  Having visited Valerie’s ‘potagers’ (vegetable gardens) during an open day late last Summer, I was in awe at seeing the size of the whole thing, knowing that she maintained all of it herself (5 acres), and how much land you need to work to provide for a market stall, let alone your own weekly provisions!  For her it’s a 7 day a week job from early morning till dark, but judging by her face she couldn’t be happier.

a visit to Valerie's garden

visiting Valerie’s garden

It’s been nearly two years since Valerie quit her job at the local paper and became a full-time grower and her enthusiasm for her produce is infectious.  While I’m glancing over all the varieties of vegetables she’s always ready to share ideas for dishes she’s cooked at home with the same produce. She grows around 40-50 different varities of vegetables, including many ancient varities that you don’t see anymore in the supermarkets.  I love buying her baby cabbages and the tiny heads of ‘mini’ broccolis and it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked with vegies like this.  The flavours are so sweet and concentrated.

Her plans are ever expanding, she’s very excited about the large orchard recently planted of organic fruit trees which will help contribute to her jellies and jams.

I love shopping at the markets.  I’m not able to find absolutely everything to stock the cupboards like I can in the supermarket, but its rewarding to get to know producers like Valerie, Pierre, Jacques and  Laetitia and chat about how and why they do what they do.

These people usually have huge smiles on their faces – no matter how cold or hot or early in the morning – and you can see their satisfaction from selling their produce direct to the consumer.  It’s also great exchanging recipe ideas and even just talking about the weather.  Something we do a lot of around here!


%d bloggers like this: