Authors: Dorie Greenspan
Copyright © 2010 by Dorie Greenspan
Photographs copyright © 2010 by Alan Richardson
All rights reserved
For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 215 Park Avenue South, New York, New York 10003.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Around my French table : more than 300 recipes from my home to yours / Dorie Greenspan ; photographs by Alan Richardson.
ISBN 978-0-618-87553-5 (hardcover)
1. Cookery, French. I. Title.
Book design by George Restrepo
Food styling by Karen Tack
Prop styling by Deb Donahue
For Michael, who made my dream of a French life come true, and with whom I am so lucky to share the joys of that life.
For Joshua, who makes life even sweeter.
For my French friends, who have shared their lives and their tables with me.
And in memory of my mother, Helen Burg, who visited Paris just once, but who cherished the pleasures of that city for the rest of her life.
HIS BOOK IS SPECIAL TO ME
in every way. Special because I got to write about the food I love in France, a country that means so much to me, and
special because I got to work with an extraordinary group of people, many of whom I've been fortunate enough to work with for years.
From the day I met my agent, David Black, he told me that this was a book I had to do. Now that it's written, I know he was right, but I also know that it would not have been the book it is without his constant encouragement, his wise eye, and his warm heart.
Anyone who knows me is probably tired of hearing me say this, but I was so very lucky to have Rux Martin as my editor. As she did with
Baking: From My Home to Yours,
Rux, with her sharp intelligence; profound appreciation of food, writing, and writers; and ever-ready blue pencil made this a better book than it was when it arrived on her doorstep. She also made me laugh, and when you're racing a tight deadline for a big book, the benefits of laughter can't be overestimated.
At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, I got to work with the A-team. Many thanks to George Restrepo, for his beautiful book design; Eugenie Delaney, for carrying it out; Teresa Elsey, who saw the book through production; Jacinta Monniere, who once again "translated" scribbles into type; and Rux's ever helpful and always patient assistant, Tim Mudie.
When photographer Alan Richardson, food stylist Karen Tack, and prop stylist Deb Donahue signed on to work on this book, I was so happy that I actually burst into tears. It had been my dream that we could work together again—this is the team that made
so gorgeous—but I hadn't dared to imagine that it would happen. As an author, you trust your food to those who will illustrate it—never has there been a more trustworthy crew.
This book, my tenth, marks the twentieth anniversary of my working with the best cookbook copyeditor ever, Judith Sutton. We've worked together on all my books, and I hope we always will. Thanks also to proofreaders Jessica Sherman and Susan Dickinson, whose sharp eyes made this book better.
I am grateful to Jennifer King, a founder of Liddabit Sweets, for testing—and retesting—my recipes. Jen has all the qualities you want in a tester: skillfulness, meticulousness, a love of food, and an appetite for learning.
Barbara Fairchild, the editor in chief of
has encouraged me for years, and with each year, I appreciate her support more and more. I'm also deeply appreciative for the enthusiasm and support of Janice Kaplan, who was my editor at
More so than any other book I've written, this one depended on and was made infinitely richer by the generosity of friends. In America, I had great help from Eric Render, Beth and Michael Vogel, Laura Shapiro, and Stephanie Lyness. While I was in France, among the friends who were at my side or with me around my table or theirs were Martine and Bernard Collet, Hélène Samuel, Juan Sanchez, Drew Harré, Christian Holthausen, Simon Maurel, David Lebovitz, Alec Lobrano, Paule Caillat, Patricia and Walter Wells, and my friend and mentor in all things sweet, Pierre Hermé, and his wife, Barbara.
Many people shared their wonderful recipes with me, among them: Bertrand Auboyneau; Marie-Hélène Brunet-Lhoste; Yves Camdeborde; Béatrix Collet; Marie- Claude Delaveau; Jacques Drouot; Danielle Easton; Sonia Ezgulian; Didier Frayssou; Laëtitia Ghipponi; Sophie-Charlotte Guitter; Rosa Jackson; Pierre Jancou; Gérard Jeannin and his wife, Sylvie Rougetet; Anne Leblanc; Nick Malgieri; Françoise Maloberti; Sonia Maman; Claudine Martina; Olivier Martina; Marie Naël; Anne Noblet; Marie- Cécile Noblet; Braden Perkins; Betty Rosbottom; Kerrin Rousset; Kim Sunée; Yannis Théodore; Alice Vasseur; Christine Vasseur; and Meg Zimbeck.
Merci mille fois
and a thousand times more to France for being the country of my heart and the land where food, wine, friendship, and home cooking flourish.
And, as always and forever, my love and thanks to the men in my life, Michael, my husband, and Joshua, our son.
Nibbles and Hors d'Oeuvres
Salads, Starters, and Small Plates
Chicken and Duck
Beef, Veal, Pork, and Lamb
Fish and Shellfish
Vegetables and Grains
(mostly sides, but a few mains too)
Fundamentals and Flourishes
WAS RECENTLY MARRIED, JUST OUT OF
college, and working at my first grown-up job when Michael, my husband, came into a bit of money, a few hundred dollars that seemed to fall from the sky. He took one look at the check and thought, "Car payments!" I, ever the romantic, saw it and almost screamed, "Paris!"
Whoever said screaming will get you nothing was wrong. A month later, we landed in France.
Somewhere there's a picture of me from that trip. I'm an impossibly skinny young woman with a huge grin. I'm spinning around with arms out wide, and I look like I'm about to grab Paris and hold on to her forever. Which I did.
There were a million reasons I took Paris into my heart. Everything about the city entranced me, from the way the women walked on towering stiletto heels over bumpy cobblestoned streets to how old-fashioned neighborhood restaurants still had cubbyholes where regulars could keep their napkin rings. I loved the rhythm of Parisian life, the sound of the language, the way people sat in cafés for hours.
I fell in love with the city because it fit all my girlish ideas of what it was supposed to be, but I stayed in love with all of France because of its food and its people.
I'm convinced my fate turned on a strawberry tartlet. We were walking up the very chic rue Saint-Honoré, pressing our noses against the windows of the fashionable stores and admiring everything we couldn't afford, when the tartlet, a treat within our means, called out to me. It was the first morsel I had on French soil, and more than thirty years later, I still think it was the best tartlet of my life, a life that became rich in tartlets.
This one was a
a boat-shaped tartlet so teensy that all it could hold was a lick of pastry cream and three little strawberries, but everything about it excited me. The crust was so beautifully baked and flaky that when I took the first bite, small shards of it flew across my scarf. It was butter that gave the crust its texture, remarkable flavor, and deep golden color, and a little more butter and pure vanilla that made the pastry cream so memorable. And those strawberries. They were
fraises des bois
—tiny wild strawberries—but I had no idea of that then. What I did know was that they tasted like real strawberries, whose flavor I must have subconsciously tucked away in my memory.
That evening, after searching for a restaurant that would keep us within the budget set by
we settled into a
near our hotel. It was startling to see a big menu offering nothing but crepes, and not a single one famous in America! Everything we tasted was a novelty: the buckwheat crepe was lacy and chewy, and the sunny-side-up egg that accompanied it had a yolk the color of marigolds and the true taste of eggs.
I returned home to New York City, assured my mother that I loved her even though she'd made the mistake of having me in Brooklyn instead of Paris, and proceeded to devote the rest of my life to remedying her lapse in judgment.
I took French lessons, learned to tie a scarf the French way, and in anticipation of spending more time in cafés, I practiced making an espresso last long enough to get through a chapter of Sartre.
And I cooked. I made the food I'd loved in France, the food you'll find in this book—simple, delicious, everyday food, like beef stews made with rough country wine and carrots that I could have sworn were candied but weren't (I've got a similar dish on
); salads dressed with vinaigrettes that had enough sharp mustard in them to make your eyes pop open (see
); and hand-formed tarts with uneven edges that charred a bit when they caught the oven's heat (just as the one on
I returned to Paris as often as I could and traveled through France as much as I could. On each trip, I'd buy cookbooks, collect recipes from anyone who'd share them (and almost everyone I asked, from farmers in the markets to chefs, was happy to share), and take cooking and baking classes everywhere they were offered. Then I'd come back and spend days at a stretch trying to perfect what I'd learned or to teach myself something new.