dans le sac

Oh! I didn't expect it to late me so long to post the next instalment of my exploration in french-style cooking with market produce, actually this bag and recipes are from two weeks ago - its just taken me this long to write up the details. The highlight for me in this sac is the giant artichoke - I admit I usually only cook with the hearts (already cooked and brined in a jar) - but they are something entirely different when fresh. And so beautifully multi foliate. This was my first attempt at the traditional french way of eating them, leaf by leaf, dipped in garlicy butter... I still find myself enjoying the concept of it more than the taste, and well, anything will taste good with butter!

dans le sac / in the bag:

. artichaut (artichoke) - all shapes and colours are in season at the moment, I was especially attracted to this enormous burgundy variety
. laitue de jardin  (lettuce of the garden)
. coriandre et persil (coriander and parsley) - fresh herbs are staples for me, big handfuls find their way into curry, pasta, salads, pilaf, rice, morning smoothies
. céleri-rave (celariac) - taste and texture somewhere between celery and potato
. oignons (onions)
. poivrons rouges (red capsicums) 
. carottes (carrots)
. brocoli (broccoli)
. fromage de chèvre frais (fresh goats cheese) - soft and mild, this is often eaten spread onto fresh bread or toast
. steaks de thon (tuna steaks) 
. betteraves (beetroots)

~ Artichauts avec beurre à l'ail ~
(steamed artichoke with garlic butter)

prepare your artichoke(s) by removing the outer layers of leaves and trim the stalk. Sit artichoke (s) in a steamer and steam gently for 30-40 minutes or until the stalk feels tender and the leaves have discoloured quite a bit and are soft when pronged with a fork. Meanwhile prepare your sauce by simple melting two tablespoons of butter (per person) with a quarter of a garlic clove finely minced and 1/4 teaspoon good quality sea salt. combine and pour into a small bowl. Remove artichoke to a plate and dip each leaf in the butter as you pull them off - run your teeth along the bottom of the leave catching up the tiny morsel of flesh. 

~ Terrine de chèvre frais aux betteraves et noix ~
(fresh goats cheese terrine with beetroot and walnuts)

3-4 large beetroots, boiled or steamed with skins on, cooled and peeled
300g fresh goats cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped plus half kernels for decorating top
salt and pepper to taste
lettuce for serving

Slice beetroots thinly lengthwise and set aside. In a bowl mix together goats cheese, garlic, olive oil and chopped walnuts. Line a small terrine dish with plastic/cling-film (letting it hang out generously over the sides) and brush the interior with olive oil. Arrange 1/3 of your beetroot at the bottom of the dish followed by 1/2 of your cheese mixture. Repeat and finish with a layer of beetroot. Wrap cling film over the top of the beetroot and press down firmly to compress the layers - refrigerate for an hour or more before serving. When ready to serve unwrap cling film and place a plate on top of the dish - tip upside down with the plate to unmould - remove cling film and garnish top of terrine with a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of whole walnut kernels. Using a sharp knife cut thick slices and arrange on a bed of lettuce or rocket. Enjoy with fresh bread!

~ Céleri-rave en purée à l'ail et au persil ~
(celeriac, garlic and parsley mash)

1 large celeriac bulb
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon good quality butter
1 cup fresh parsley, minced
salt and pepper to taste

peel and wash the celeriac thoroughly. chop into cubes and put in a large saucepan - cover liberally with water (as you would when you boil potatoes) and bring to the boil - simmer for 20-30 minutes or until cubes are tender and mash easily with a fork. drain well and return to pot with garlic, butter and milk - mash to the consistency you like. Stir in parsley. Season to taste. 

**if you have any left over it makes an excellent base for salmon cakes or vegetable fritters**