Saturday, August 8, 2015

Summer Vegetable Tartlets with Parmesan Cream

I received a review copy of Anne-Sophie Pic’s newest book, Scook: The Complete Cookery Course. It’s a big, beautiful cookbook that she wrote to continue the tradition of passing along kitchen experience to new cooks. The recipes are some of her favorites from her childhood as well as her professional life in the kitchen. This new book is just as stunning as her previous book, Le Livre Blanc, which was focused on her incredible restaurant creations, but these recipes are much more doable by the home cook. There are even helpful step-by-step instructions with photos for some techniques. Pic is a third generation chef in her family, and she’s a three-Michelin starred chef at her restaurant Maison Pic in Valence, Drôme, France. This book is divided into categories like Entertaining, Everyday, and For Children. Some of the selections for each of these categories represent ideals that might not be quite realistic for everyone. Personally, I wouldn’t think of Foie Gras with Beetroot or Lobster and Celery with Red Fruits as “everyday” dishes, but the idea is that everything in this chapter is quick enough to prepare on an everyday basis. It’s meant as inspiration to elevate your game of go-to, quick dishes. I’m definitely inspired to try the Roman Gnocchi Revisited topped with a tomato concasse with capers and black olives. A recipe from the Entertaining chapter that I keep turning back to is for a Tuna Tartlet with Sauce Vierge. This reminds me of some tartlets I watched Dorie Greenspan make at a cooking class when she was promoting her book Around My French Table. Both Dorie’s tartlets and the ones in this book make use of the same technique for the pastry base. Puff pastry is cut into shapes and baked between two baking sheets to keep it pressed and flat. Then, the crisp, flaky pastry pieces get some delicious toppings. Tuna was used in both versions, but I’d love to try these with smoked salmon and Pic’s suggested black olive tapenade, Espelette chile powder, and basil. Tartlets continued to capture my attention, and when I saw the lovely, little Vegetable Tarts with Young Parmesan Cream I had to try a summery version. 

In the book, these golden pastry rounds are topped with incredibly perfect-looking spring vegetables and a drizzle of the parmesan cream. I wanted to summer-ize the concept by using some grilled baby eggplant and cherry tomatoes. The rich pastry dough was made with lots of butter, ground almonds, all-purpose flour, and salt. The recipe called for lavender flowers, but I didn’t have any handy. The dough was rolled thin and then covered with plastic wrap and placed in the freezer for 15 minutes. Once firm, rounds were cut, brushed with egg wash, and baked. The parmesan cream was a simple mix of grated parmesan and milk that was heated in a saucepan and blended. Mine seemed thin, so I made a roux and whisked in the mixture to thicken it. I grilled quartered, little eggplants for the main topping. They were set on the pastry rounds with halved cherry tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil, and topped with the parmesan cream. 

Anne-Sophie Pic writes that she hopes the reader becomes comfortable with these dishes and makes the recipes his/her own. Switching out the vegetables for this tart was an easy change, and the parmesan cream would be a delicious accompaniment to just about any vegetable. This is a fun book to curl up with and page through the photos. And, there’s lots to learn from it too. 

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21 comments:

  1. Magnificent and mouthwatering!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. This is a perfect starter and I love the presentation.

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  3. These tartlets sound absolutely delightful! Love how you summerized them.

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  4. Ohhhh lovely tartlets!!!! The crust looks so so flaky!!!!

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  5. Great photos, Lisa.. what a perfect appetizer to start a dinner party.... Loved it!

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  6. Another fabulous recipe with eggplant! Anne-Sophie Pic is a new author for me, thank for the introduction!

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  7. Hi Lisa, this is so beautiful and perfect for summer vegetables, love the Parmesan cream.

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  8. Ooh, what a lovely dish, Lisa! I'll look this one up and give it a try.

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  9. parmesan cream sounds like something i would and could apply to so many things! beautiful. :)

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  10. Your tart is beautifully presented. I do like the sound of the cookbook and how it is organised into very specific chapters; the chapter on feeding children would be very well thumbed in this house xx

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  11. Very good article... Keep sharing

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  12. yum! Tartlets look amazing! Parmesan cream sounds great!

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  13. Sounds like a terrific book! Certainly those tartlets look so tasty. Really nice -- thanks.

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  14. What a lovely looking dish for summertime - this is going on my "to-try" list for sure. Thanks!

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  15. Stunning, Lisa! Looks like eggplant was the perfect substitution here. What a fantastic nibble :)

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  16. The tartlets are a beautiful foundation for an array of in season vegetables. Love, love this one. Thanks for sharing.

    Velva

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  17. We did Anne-Sophie Pic on our 50 Women Chefs series and I made a dessert she had done for children. Fun that she has included a dishes for children chapter in her new book.
    The tart is unusual and looks marvelous...the grilled eggplant was a great choice and the tomatoes add color and even more flavor. The Parmesan cream sounds wonderful, would love to try that on any number of things!

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  18. This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try this.
    see more at - http://www.yolenis.us/en_us/recipes.html

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  19. Love these vegetable tarts look awesome Lisa !!

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  20. Now that's a gorgeous savory tart. Sounds like a beautiful cookbook, and you definitely did justice to that summery recipe.

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