Posts Tagged ‘Martha Rose Shulman’

Autumn is the season of squash.


This is an early post I found on a mining the past exercise last week.

I cooked it again and the recipe didn’t disappoint–in fact we finished the lot as we’d done way back in February 2011.

Butternut squashes dress modestly in light fawn leaving their showier cousins in orange and red to hog the limelight around this time of year–Halloween and Toussaint.

Under the skin though they show their true colors.


A wonderful autumn glow emerges, mustardy yellow–warming heart and body–as in the soup below (recipe here).


“What’s on the menu today?”
“Gratin of one of us”
“Scary–after you, ClaudeI”

This is delicious–I’ll stick my neck out.

We had it with some seasoned quinoa (sautéed onion, garlic, a small chili and a little steamed broccoli) last night for dinner and finished the lot.

The recipe is adapted from one in The New York Times*, which in turn was adapted from a recipe in a cookbook by a legendary American food writer**, who most likely adapted it from something he ate in a restaurant in Provence***, which was probably invented by the grandmother of the restaurant owner****–who had passed it on to her daughter*****.

In other words it’s a version of a traditional seasonal gratin dish.

It can be eaten as a vegetarian main course as we did last night or as an accompaniment to a roast chicken or lamb chops–for instance.

for 4

1kilo/2 lbs of butternut squash–peeled, deseeded and cut into small chunks

4 cloves of garlic–peeled and chopped small

1 generous tablespoon of wholewheat breadcrumbs

1 generous tablespoon of parsley--chopped

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves

salt and pepper

3 tablespoons of olive oil

set the oven to 190C/375F

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and turn them over and over mixing them thoroughly together and remembering to season well with the salt and pepper.

Tip into a roasting tray or better still an earthenware ovenproof dish.

Roast in the middle of the oven, for about an hour and a half–(the time depends on the size of the chunks)–so it comes out nicely charred on top.

Martha Rose Shulman

** Richard Olney–author of Simple French Food

***, ****, ***** All three names lost in the mists of time!

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Just back from an unexpectedly extended London visit–thanks to a strike by air traffic controllers in France. In fact the extra days (4) were a blessing. A chance to catch up with brother Jack who flew in from Japan the day before we were supposed to leave and nephew Theo, who plays bass guitar in Wolf Alice–burgeoning indy band about to hit the big time.


Brothers as the backing group to the new kid on the block!

Now back in France and a stew with SUMMER  in its DNA–though the seasonal sweetness of fresh tomatoes  may not yet be fully expressed–and enough comfort factor to lift the spirits after a wet and wretched May here–not to mention the tempest raging outside today!


It’s inspired by a Martha Rose Shulman recipe in The New York Times.

Few ingredients, simple to do and a pleasing look–just the ticket!

1 medium onion–chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves–mashed with half a teaspoon of salt

3 medium courgettes/zucchini–cut in centimeter rounds

3 tbsp chopped tomatoes–tinned [canned] at this time of year

200gm/8oz cherry tomatoes–halved

250gms cooked white beans, tinned or jarred–(the best you can find–I favour jarred)

3 sprigs of thyme

salt and pepper

Sweat the onion in the oil until soft; then tip in the garlic and sauté for a few seconds.

Add the courgettes/zucchini and turn them over in the mix.

Cook until they too start to soften–about 5 minutes.

Add all the tomatoes, thyme sprigs and a seasoning of salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes until the cherry tomatoes start to soften.


Add the beans and their liquid and/or a couple of tablespoons of water.

Cook for a further 15 minutes.

Check the seasoning for salt and pepper.

We are having the stew spooned over a baked sweet potato tonight.

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This satisfying and comforting dish is adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s idea, spotted recently in The New York Times.

She calls it a salad I guess because it is dressed with a vinaigrette–and an interesting one.

She suggests serving the lentils with roasted winter squash, so I chose pumpkin with different, spicier seasoning (recipe tomorrow!).

I topped the dish off with some plain soft goat’s cheese I’d bought from Frederick, our favourite local chèvre maker, in Castres market on Saturday.


I like the addition of turmeric to the cooking lentils. It lends them a touch of mystery!

8oz green lentils

1tsp fresh ginger–chopped very fine

1tsp turmeric

1 clove of garlic–peeled

1 small onion–halved

450ml/1 pint water

Combine these ingredients and bring to the boil.

Simmer gently, covered, until the lentils are tender but not mushy.

Drain off any excess water and empty the lentils into a bowl.

Mix the ingredients below together in a bowl in the order shown, leaving aside the parsley and turn this vinaigrette into the warm lentils, taking care not to mush the lentils too much.


1 tblsp red wine vinegar

1tsp balsamic vinegar

1tsp Dijon mustard

1tsp cumin powder

3tbsp olive oil

1tbsp walnut oil

salt and pepper


Sprinkle the parsley over to finish.

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Sounding like some overly defended creature of the deep, this is tastier than the name suggests!

A one pot dish of spicy spinach with a modicum of rice for ballast.


Spinach and rice with yogurt sauce and left-over lemon lentils

Adapted from a recipe posted recently by Martha Rose Shulman in The New York Times.

Simple to do.

for 2 plus

450gms/1lb fresh spinach–washed and drained of surplus water

2 tablespoons brown basmati rice–washed and soaked in cold water for 30 minutes

1 small onion–chopped

2 garlic cloves–chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 tinned tomatoes–about 100 gms/4oz–chopped

1 teaspoon sweet hot smoked paprika (a prince of the spice world)


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice–about a lemon’s worth

3 tablespoons water or stock

  • Steam, covered, the prepared spinach for a few minutes until it starts to wilt–remove from the heat.
  • Drain the rice and cook it–salted and covered–in enough water to cover it by a thumb nail; should take about 25 minutes–set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a pan and gently soften the onion for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic.
  • Sauté for a further couple of minutes.
  • Add the spices and the tomatoes and cook for a further 5 minutes–making a sauce.
  • Add the lemon juice, water, spinach and rice and mix together.
  • Cover and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Traditionally this is served with a yogurt sauce–which helps neutralise the sometimes tooth tingling after-effect of the spinach.

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