My goodness where did the last week go to? It seems to have vanished in a flash, and here we are at Saturday evening again and time for another Cookbook Sundays. If you've been delving into your cookbooks lately, I'd love you to share your post with me and my friends who are trying to get those cookbooks down off the bookshelves and onto the kitchen bench. Keep reading for full details on how to participate.
In the meantime ... what did I conjure up from my cookbooks this week? In actual fact my recipe this week comes from "The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook". This book is not in my collection, and is probably not the kind of book that I would buy. But I was at the library the other day, and it was out on display. Don't really know what made me pick it up, but the book immediately fell open at this recipe and I knew that I just had to make it.
Now, one glimpse at my photos, and you won't need me to tell you that this dish is not going to win any beauty contests. It's brown food, people, and not even Lord Lichfield could have made this look good. Still, for all its wallflower looks, this dish delivers on flavour.
In the introduction to this recipe, the author says, "Clafoutis usually refers to a dessert preparation, but in Provence it can be a savory yet still rich dish with cheese, eggs, and bread." The sweetness of peppers in this dish, with the pungency of garlic, the salty brininess of black olives, the earthy herbaceousness (probably not a real word, but you know what I mean) of basil, and the nutty, tangy Parmesan makes a great combination. If I had a disappointment in this dish it was probably the aubergine. Now I love aubergine - it's one of my favourite vegetables - but in this dish it somehow didn't shine and didn't do anything to enhance the dish. I would definitely make this dish again, but I think I would use red peppers instead of yellow - I think red have just a bit more sweetness and more flavour, also the bright colour I think would look a bit more appealing. Other changes I would make ... I think some slow roasted tomatoes would be great in here, for both colour and flavour, and I feel inclined to swap the aubergines out for some courgette - again I think the colour and flavour would be better here. But, hey, really you could put just about anything in here. You could even take this in a totally different direction using some Italian sausage or chorizo, with sweet potato or pumpkin, some spinach and blue cheese ... mmmmm, think I just might have to try that.
A funny thing ... The recipe stated that it would serve 4 and I have to say that when I got it out of the oven, my first thought was "Well that's obviously why French women don't get fat - this would barely feed two". I was wrong - I served this as a main meal with a light green salad, and it would easily give 3-4 servings. I think this dish would really shine served for a late summer lunch, followed by a long siesta.
Clafoutis Provencal Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Mireille Guiliano from
Serves 3 to 4
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1x medium aubergine, cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) dice
1x yellow pepper, deseeded & cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) dice
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
1x slice of bread, crusts removed
2x garlic cloves, peeled
1 cup ricotta
3x large free-range eggs
2 tablespoons fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup black olives, stones removed and halved
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
fresh basil to garnish
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Grease a 20 cm (8 in) square baking dish with butter and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in pan set over medium heat, and saute the yellow pepper and aubergine until softened and just starting to caramelise. Season with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside to cool.
Put bread, garlic, eggs and ricotta into a food processor, and process until smooth. Remove to a bowl; add the basil, olives, Parmesan, and the cooled aubergine and pepper mixture; season with more flaky sea salt and black pepper; and mix everything together gently.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and put into the hot oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until lightly golden on top. Take care not to overcook.
Remove from the oven and serve warm, garnished with extra basil. A crisp green salad makes a good accompaniment.
Now read on to learn more about Cookbook Sundays.
If you're anything like me you have dozens of cookbooks gathering dust on your bookshelves, some of which have never even been cooked from. Sure I spent hours browsing through them when I first bought them, marking all the recipes I was going to make with little post-it notes, and yet still those books languish in the bookcase and never make it to the kitchen. There are others from which I have made but one recipe which was such a resounding success that I've made it over and over again, and yet somehow I've never made anything else from that book. Sound a bit familiar?!
Take comfort - you are not alone, and now Cookbook Sundays is your opportunity to change that. Every Sunday I'm going to share with you a recipe that I haven't made before from one of my ever expanding collection of cookbooks. And, because I know that if you have read this far then you are guilty of this too, I'm inviting you to join in with me. Each week my Cookbook Sundays post will have a linky for you to share something you've cooked from one of your cookbooks.
The rules for joining in are simple:
- Your post must state the author and the title of the book your recipe has come from.
- Your post must mention Cookbook Sundays and link back to this post. Including the Cookbook Sundays badge is optional, but always appreciated.
- You may submit as many entries as you like, and you may use the same cookbook as many times as you like. Old posts are also welcome.
- Lastly, remember that what goes around, comes around - one of the reasons you are participating in this is because you want people to read your posts, so do the right thing and go and visit a few of the other participants - you can even "Like" your favourites.
Now, go and dust off those cookbooks and get cooking! Use the linky tool at the end of this post to submit your entry/entries - simply scroll down to where it says "You are next ... Click here to enter", and then follow the instructions. The linky will be open for one week.
Lastly, if you would like to use the Cookbook Sundays badge in your post, simply copy the code in the box beside the badge below and paste it into your post. Feel free to also use it in your sidebar if you wish.