Part 2   Part 3
Roasted zucchini with pine nuts
&
Red bell-pepper soup
&
Risotto with roasted pumpkin, tomatoes and goat cheese
&
Green salad
&
Ice-cold creamy apple pudding
 

Artichoke with Pesto Dip
&
Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese
&
Vegetable Stew
&
Potatoes Au Gratin
&
Green Salad with Raspberries
&
Pear Stuffed with Macaroon

     
See also part 1    
   

Fresh Artichoke

serves 4

1 fresh artichoke
lemon juice

Preparation
Cut the stem at the level of the flower.
Put the artichoke in a pan with boiling water and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Boil the artichoke until done in 30-40 minutes. The artichoke is done when the leaves can be easily removed.
Drain the artichoke well.

Eating an Artichoke
Serve the artichoke on a beautiful dish at the centre of the table.
Add an empty dish for the leftover parts of the leaves.
Pull the leaves one after the other from the artichoke.
Dip the lower part of the leaves in the dip and use your teeth to scrape the lower part of the leaves.
When all leaves have been eaten, remove the middle part, called the choke, if necessary with a knife. Discard the choke.
What remains is the heart of the artichoke.
Cut the heart in small pieces and eat with the dip.
This dish can be prepared about an hour before dinner.

Pesto Dip for One Artichoke

1 tablespoon green pesto
1 tablespoon full-fat yoghurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
freshly ground pepper

Preparation
Mix the green pesto, yoghurt and mayonnaise well and season to taste with pepper.
This dip can be prepared an hour before dinner.

Cauliflower Soup with Blue Cheese

Serves 4-6

300 grams cauliflower
1 potato
750 mls clear vegetable soup
50 grams blue Cheese (e.g. Fourme d’Ambert or Blue d’Auvergne)
circa 1 tablespoon lime juice
freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation
Cut the cauliflower into florets.
Peel and dice the potato.
Pour the clear vegetable soup into a large pan and bring to the boil.
Add the cauliflower florets and diced potato.
Cook the cauliflower and potato in the soup until done (about 15 minutes).
Puree the soup with a hand blender.
Cut the cheese into small cubes.
Bring the soup to the boil again.
Stir in the cheese cubes until melted.
Season the soup with lime juice and pepper to taste.
Serve with breadsticks.
This dish can be prepared a day in advance and heated just before dinner.

Vegetable Stew

Serves 4-6

1 aubergine (250 grams)
1 courgette (250 grams)
1 large red paprika (250 grams)
2 cloves of garlic
1 can of peeled tomatoes
5 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper

Preparation
Cut the aubergine, courgette and paprika in equal-sized cubes.
Finely chop the tomatoes.
Heat some oil in a thick-bottomed frying pan.
Fry the aubergine for a few minutes until  half-cooked.
Add the courgette and paprika and fry another couple of minutes.
Press the garlic, add to the vegetables and fry a short time.
Add the paprika to the vegetables in the pan and fry a little longer.
Next add the tomatoes together with the juice and three sprigs of thyme (do not pick off the leaves) and bring to the boil.
Let the vegetables stew for 30 minutes on a low heat until all vegetables are as soft as butter.
Chop the remaining sprigs of thyme.
Season the stew with freshly chopped thyme, salt and pepper.

This dish can be prepared a day in advance and heated just before dinner.

Potatoes Au Gratin

Serves 4-6

800 grams potatoes
1 clove of garlic
100 ml cream
100 ml full-fat milk
50 grams grated mature cheese
salt and pepper

Preparation
Peel the potatoes and slice very thinly.
Grease a low baking dish with a clove of garlic and some butter.
Finely chop the remaining garlic.
Heat the cream with the milk and the chopped garlic.
Chop the thyme.
Add salt, pepper and the chopped thyme to the mixture of milk and cream.
Put the sliced potatoes in the baking dish.
Pour the hot milk mixture over the potatoes.
Sprinkle the potatoes with grated cheese.
Put the dish in a preheated (180 ˚C) oven for approximately 60 minutes until the potatoes are cooked and golden brown.
If the potatoes are golden brown, but not yet cooked, cover the dish with aluminium foil until the potatoes are done.
This dish can be prepared an hour before dinner.

Green Salad with Raspberries

Serves 4-6

150 grams assorted lettuce (e.g. lamb’s lettuce, rocket, oak leaf lettuce, fresh spinach)
50 grams roasted, unsalted walnuts
 15 fresh raspberries
                                  
Walnut Dressing
4 tablespoons walnut oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
 2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon mustard or honey mustard
7 fresh raspberries, crushed

Preparation
Carefully wash and dry the salad.
Mix the different types of salad in a bowl.
Garnish the salad with the walnuts and raspberries.
Mix all the ingredients for the salad dressing and pour the dressing over the salad just before serving.
The dressing can be prepared a day in advance and should be kept refrigerated.

Pear Stuffed with Macaroons

Serves 4-8

100 grams Italian macaroons
25 grams dark chocolate
2 tablespoons sugar
zest of half an orange
½ teaspoon powdered cinnamon
1 egg white
4 small pears
150 ml dry white wine

Preparation
Crumble the macaroons in a food processor.
Grate the chocolate.
Mix the crumbles macaroons, the grated chocolate, sugar, orange zest and cinnamon.
Beat the egg white.
Mix the beaten egg white with the macaroon mix and kneed the mixture with your hands until the ingredients are well mixed.
Cut the pears in half and remove the core.
Arrange the pears in a baking dish with the round side facing down.
Put the dish in a preheated (180 ˚C) oven for 20 minutes until the pears are warm and the stuffing is crunchy.
Every now and then ladle some of the cooking liquid over the pears.
Serve each guest with one or two half pears.
This dessert combines well with sour cream or whipped cream.
The stuffing can be prepared a day in advance and should be kept refrigerated.

Before dinner stuff and bake the pears.

Good luck
&
A happy, culinary Christmas to all.

Tina