Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Cottage Cooking Club - February Recipes

February marks the tenth month of our international online cooking group, The Cottage Cooking Club. As a group, recipe by recipe, we are cooking and learning our way through a wonderful vegetable cookbook written in 2011 by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, called „River Cottage Everyday Veg“.

The Cottage Cooking Club is meant to be a project aimed at incorporating more vegetable dishes in our everyday cooking, getting to know less known, forgotten or heritage vegetables, learning new ways to prepare tasty and healthy dishes, and sharing them with family and friends.

All the members of this cooking group will make an effort to use as much local, regional, organic and also seasonal produce as is resonably possible. With that goal in mind, during the month of February, I prepared a nice array of vegetable dishes from the recipe line-up.

Since I prepared eight out of ten recipes, I will write about each dish according to the order in which I prepared them.

My first recipe for this February post was the Potato Rösti (page 391) from the chapter "Side Dishes". I have made those Rösti so many times and written about them at length in this blog – so, I will keep it short. These is one of the most wonderful, economical and versatile side dishes I know. Just make sure to keep some readily boiled and unpeeled potatoes in your fridge and all you have to do is peel them, grate them and fry them at a moment´s notice. Toppings of our choice include spinach, Alpine cheese or caramelized onions. The only aspect that is different from my ususal recipe ist hat I like to use duck fat if I can get my hands on it to fry these babies – other than, predictably, we loved this recipe. Crunchy outside, not too thick and creamy insides - potato heaven.

I veered off the February line-up of recipes , just ever so slightly and prepared Oven-Baked Kale Chips for the kids (and us). Kale has such a different quality when roasted, compared to boiled. It goes crisp and crackly in some parts, and tender in others. Preheat the oven to 220 C. Rinse the kale under cold running water and dry the leaves very well, cut out the centre stalks, then cut into 5cm slices. Place on a baking sheet, drizzle over some good olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, until crisp at the edges. Sorry, just could not resist that lovely, fresh, curly winter kale.

The second recipe was the Roasted Beetroot Soup with Horseradish Cream (page 144) from the chapter „Hefty Soups“. A perfect winter soup with earthy flavors form the roasted beetroot. We are living in a country of serious beet lovers - although, for some reason, you can mostly find them brined and in jars these days. But I came across a few at my green grocer the other day and happily took them home with me. A few were enough for this recipe. We did enjoy the contrast of flavors, the earthiness from the beets and the tang from the Horseradish Cream that was added as a topping to this thick and very hearty soup. Horeseradish is anoteh beloved item around here. Garnished with really fresh dill, this was a nice change of pace from our usual soups.

The third recipe was Roasted Squash and Shallots with Merguez Chickpeas (page 365) from the chapter „Roast, Grill & Barbecue“. This dish was the most labor intense one of the month and it required a bit of planning ahead. First step was the overnight soak of the chickpeas. Second was the cooking of the chickpeas the next day (you could use canned ones here I imagine to make things easier). The next step required the roasting of  the butternut squash, shallots and garlic. Then the preparation of the chickpea „merguez dressing“ with a lot of fresh spices such as cumin, fennel, coriander, caraway and black pepper (this is where my lovely pestle and mortar from the wonderful Mr. Oliver comes in handy) – then you add some more spices such as sweet smoked paprika, cayenne pepper etc. to the dressing before you toss those cooked and still warm chickpeas in that dressing. You add the roasted squash and shallots to your plate, top with warm chickpeas, spoon over some more warm spicy oil and finish with parsley leaves.

While we loved the warm spicyness of the dish and the depth of flavor all those wonderful components brought to this dish – I will certainly make this on a weekend next time, I was a bit taken aback by how long this took me to prepare but when squash season will come around again, I will make sure to prepare this again.

The fourth recipe I made – and this one was a real breeze to prepare when compared to the previous one – was the Cheesy Peasy Puff Turnover (page 220) from the chapter „Store-Cupboard Suppers“. The kids adored this turnovers with peas and grated and melted cheese.

This is one of those recipes that surprised me the most. I loved how the flavors came together in this one. Prepared with store-bought puff pastry (who on earth has the time to make this from scratch during the week, I do not), frozen petit pois in winter time, a really good cheese and some farm fresh egg, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, this is a recipe that I will come back to many times.

I might prepare some smaller version next time with a side salad and/or a spicy tomato soup and serve them to my kids´ friends – curious to see whether they share our enthusiasm for these. And when peas will be in season, I shall use fresh ones and see whether these turnovers are even more delicious with fresh peas. If you like the taste of peas, you have to try this recipe.

Recipe number five was the Avocado and Ruby Grapefruit with Chilli (page 122) from the chapter „Raw Assemblies“.

What a showstopper of a recipe with a genious mix of flavors and textures. Creamy, perfectly ripened avocado, tangy, citrussy grapefruit (which, to my great surprise, proved to be a bit hard to find around here and I had already lined-up blood oranges as a a back-up), spicy finely chopped chilli and some good quality extra-virgin olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and some lovely sea salt. What a delicious surprise.

Onto recipe number six and seven, the Refried Beans Foldover (page 190) with freshly cooked soft Flatbreads (page 172), both from the chapter of "Bready Things".

In the morning I started off with preparing the Magic Bread Dough with flour from my favorite artisan flour mill, Horbacher Mill, pictured above. This has become one of my favorite dough to prepare these days for pizzas, flatbreads, breadsticks etc. The recipe calls for plain white flour which is called “Type 405“ around here) and also strong white flour (called “Type 1050“) - I have taken to substitute spelt flour for both varieties of flour in this recipe.

Then I prepared the refried bean mixture ( a first to me) and I was quite taken by the end result. For the bean mixture you will need onion, garlic, chilli, dried oregano, grated tomatoes, cannellini benas, cayenne pepper or smoked paprika (I used a bit of both). I chose to serve the Refried Benas Folover with sour cream, freshly sliced avocado, red onions, grated cheese and a sprinling of mild smoked Spanish paprika as well as some fresh Italian parsley. Served all warm and fresh this is so incredibly good with the right amout of spiciness and creaminess – really comfort-style food that pleased each and every palate around the table.

The last recipe I made this month was the Baba Ganoush (page 303) from the chapter of „Mezze & Tapas“ – a classic, smoky purée of aubergine, garlic, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper.

I went a little unconventional here and served this dip with homemade wholewheat pita crisps with cheese from my favorite local dairy farm, Bauerngut Schiefelbusch, (pictured in my very first little movie at the end of this post), some sour cream, extra chilli and sliced spring onions – why not, we loved it this way and since I have a ton of  that lovely tahini left over, I will make this dip again this week and serve it with freshly baked flatbreads.

Another month full of wonderful vegetable dishes – we certainly love the recipes from this cookbook.

Please note, that for copyright reasons, we do NOT publish the recipes. If you enjoy the recipes in our series, hopefully, the wonderfully talented and enthusiastic members of the Cottage Cooking Club and their wonderful posts can convince you to get a copy of this lovely book. Better yet, do make sure to join us in this cooking adventure! There is still time, we are „only“ half-way through this amazing book!

For more information on the participation rules, please go here.

To see which wonderful dishes the other members of the Cottage Cooking Club prepared during the month of February, please go here.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

French Fridays with Dorie - Vanilla-Butter-Braised Prawns

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster – I opted for Vanilla-Braised-Prawns instead and served them (three per person) on a bed of Lemon-Steamed Spinach.

Poaching in butter is a technique most often used to cook fish and shellfish gently, resulting in an elegant flavor and a silky texture. Add some real vanilla here, real like the scraped seeds from a fresh, incredibly flavorful Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean, and you are in for a real treat.

The sweet richness of the butter-braised prawns was tempered here by the bright citrus flavor of the lemon zest in the Lemon-Steamed Spinach (also one of my beloved Dorie recipes).This side dish is a breeze to prepare and I was lucky to come across a big bunch of fresh spinach at the store – I also explained the recipe in the parking lot to a fellow shopper who was wondering how to prepare fresh spinach. You see, my dear compatriots are rather fond of their already prepared frozen spinach from that rather well-known company in Northern Germany.

Honestly, we were thrilled with this recipe, all but the youngest taste tester who just could not make herself take a nibble, although she loves fresh spinach prepared this way, she could not explain why the prawns smelled like her favorite homemade dessert (semolina pudding). But the rest of my beloved lunch crowd was sad that the portions I served were rather small. No reason to whine, there will be a next time, no doubt!

To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.

For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Vanilla-Butter-Braised Lobster “ on pages 324-25 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Violet Tuesday & Miniature Marzipan Bundts

Around here we celebrate Veilchendienstag today which literally translates to Violet Tuesday. In other parts of the world, it is also referred to as Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, or Pancake Day. Violet Tuesday is also the day before Ash Wednesday and usually falls between February 3 and March 9.

The origins of this flowery name are not quite clear. Historians assume that the expression evolved because the day before Violet Tuesday is often referred to as Rose Monday, therefore, it was natural to be looking for a similar name with a flower in its designation.

Whatever the historic origins of the name, Violet Tuesday is not only referred to by various names but it is also observed in many different ways worldwide. But no matter what you call it in your neck of the woods, or how you celebrate today, the day before Ash Wednesday has long been a time for eating and merry making as people prepare for the long Lenten fast that begins tomorrow and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday.

And what better day than Violet Tuesday to be baking Miniature Marzipan Bundts with an light violet sugar icing and incredibly delicious candied violets as decoration

And to be enjoying these tiny Bundts alongside a cup of tea called Earl Grey´s Lady Violet. This is a wonderfully fragrant black tea from Darjeeling, with cornflower blossoms and natural bergamot oil to which we like to add some pretty white rock candy.


Ingredients for the Mini Bundts
  • 2 eggs (L), free range or organic
  • 100 grams unsalted butter, room temperature – plus some for greasing the molds
  • 4 tbsp, super fine baking sugar
  • 2 tsps, pure vanilla sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 100 grams baking marzipan (with at least 50 % almonds – I like to use baking marzipan with 56 % almonds) - in the States marzipan or almond paste is available form the Danish company Odense here
  • 4 heaping tbsps. flour (use wheat or spelt flour here) - plus some for dusting the molds
In addition
  • mini Bundt baking tray (12 molds)
  • a pastry brush with soft bristles
  • powdered sugar
  • a few drops of violet food-coloring (optional)
  • candied violets (optional)

Preparation of the Mini Bundts
  1. Preheat your oven to 175 °C.
  2. Butter and flour your mini Bundt cake molds and shake out the excess flour. Set aside.
  3. Grate the marzipan finely – if the marzipan is too soft, place it in the freezer for 15 minutes or until it is firm enough to grate easily. Bring to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.
  4. Add all the ingredients except the flour to the beaker of your hand-held blender and mix together until you have a smooth batter.
  5. Then add the flour and mix some more. 
  6. Add the batter to a piping bag with a small nozzle and fill the moulds 2/3 full. Carefully tap the filled molds on the counter once to get rid of any air bubbles.
  7. Bake the mini Bundts in your pre-heated oven for about ten to twelve minutes.
  8. Transfer to a cooling rack. Let the mini cakes cool for a few minutes and then turn out onto the cooling racks. Cool completely.
  9. Decorate as desired with either just powdered sugar or a sugar icing and candied violets.

These charming little cakes seem perfect for a Violet Tuesday celebration but would also make a wonderful afternoon tea treat any day. Or bring them along to your next  picnic, in your snack box, or as gifts.

Enjoy the last day of the Carnival celebrations and Happy Baking on this Violet Tuesday!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Carnival Doughnuts - Karnevals-Krapfen

Today, on Rose Monday, I am featuring a recipe for wonderful Carnival Doughnuts. These doughnuts are considered to be a traditional pastry, fried in hot oil until deep golden-colored and served with a cinnamon-sugar coating. 
Heute, am Rosenmontag gibt es ein Rezept für wunderbare Karnevals-Krapfen. Krapfen sind ein traditionelles und sehr beliebtes Gebäck, dass in heißem Fett goldgelb ausgebacken wird und mit Zimt-Zucker bestreut serviert wird.

Last Thursday marked the official beginning of Carnival. It goes by many names in German, depending on the region and dialect. Whether you call it “Fastnacht”, “Fasching” or “Karneval”, it is a time for revelry, humor, and satire. The actual celebrations of the German Carnival take place 40 days before Easter, it is like a last week-long party before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
Letzten Donnerstag war der offiziellen Beginn des Karnevals. Er hat viele Namen in Deutsch, je nach Region und Dialekt. Ob man es "Fastnacht", "Fasching" oder "Karneval" nennt, es ist in jedem Fall eine Zeit zum Feiern, des Humors und der Satire. Die eigentlichen Feierlichkeiten des deutschen Karnevals beginnen immer 40 Tage vor Ostern, es ist wie eine letzte lange Party vor Aschermittwoch und somit dem Beginn der Fastenzeit.

On Thursday, the Carnival celebrations kicked off with Women’s Carnival Day at exactly 11.11 a.m. The next highlight is today on so-called Rose Monday. Marching bands, dancers, and floats parade down city streets. The participants of the parades throw confetti, sweets, little bundles of flowers and toys to the eager costumed crowds lining the streets where the parades take place. The elaborate floats often show caricatured figures mocking politicians and other personalities and thousands of dressed-up Germans are flocking the streets every year to watch them.
An Weiberfastnacht um 11:11 Uhr gingen die Feierlichkeiten offiziell los. Und am heutigen Rosenmontag gibt es unzählige traditionelle Karnevalszüge in vielen deutschen Städten. Die Züge bestehen aus Abordnungen der Karnevalsvereine mit Prunkwagen, Kapellen, Tanzgruppierungen und oft auch aus so genannten Motivwagen. Letztere stellen oft Ereignisse und Personen des vergangenen Jahres in satirisch interpretierter Form dar. Von den Prunkwagen und den teilnehmenden Gruppen des Umzugs werden Kamelle und Blumen unter die Zuschauer geworfen.

Almost every German city celebrates Carnival and organizes a street parade in its city center. The best and most traditional Carnival festivities take place in the Cities of Düsseldorf, Münster, Aachen, Mainz, and, of course my beloved hometown, Cologne.
Fast jede deutsche Stadt feiert Karneval und organisiert einen Karnevalsumzug in der Innenstadt. Im Rheinland finden die besten und traditionsreichsten Karnevals-Feierlichkeiten in den Städten Düsseldorf, Münster, Aachen, Mainz und natürlich in meiner geliebten Heimatstadt Köln, statt.

Tomorrow, on Shrove Tuesday, costume balls are held all over Germany, while the quiet Ash Wednesday marks the end of the frenzied fun.

As with every longstanding traditional holiday, special sweet treats are also served during the Carnival, or "fifth season" season, as we call it. They are different depending on the region where they hail from.
Morgen am Veilchendienstag finden viele Kostümbälle statt und am Aschermittwoch beginnt die 40-tägige Fastenzeit und somit steht dieser Tag für das Ende der Karnevalssaison.

Passend zur so genannten fünften Jahreszeit gibt es natürlich jede Menge regional verschiedene, süße Karnevalsrezepte. 

Pastries that are particular to Carnival include the very popular Fried Almond Cookies (my recipe can be found here).

Today, I am presenting a recipe for Carnival Doughnuts. This year I baked them with a special flour, called Doughnut Flour. This is a special flour that is produced by an Artisan Flour Mill that we visited last week. This special flour is offered for a limited time only and you can choose between a spelt and a wheat variety. On the back of the lovely flour package, you will find a recipe for doughnuts which served as the inspiration for this post. But let me assure you that the recipe also works well with strong flour.
Zum traditionellen Karnevalsgebäck gehören zum Beispiel die allseits beliebten Mutzemandeln, mein Rezept findet ihr hier.

Heute gibt es dann Krapfen – dieses Jahr habe ich sie mit einem besonderen Mehl gebacken, einem Krapfenmehl. Letzte Woche haben wir eine schöne Mehlmühle besucht, dort wird zu dieser Jahreszeit das spezielle Krapfenmehl produziert und für begrenzte Zeit zum Verkauf angeboten. Man kann zwischen Weizen und Dinkel wählen. Und die schöne Verpackung hat ein passendes Rezept auf der Rückseite und davon habe ich mich für dieses Post inspirieren lassen. Aber man kann dieses Rezept auch mit Weizenmehl Type 1050 backen.

Carnival Doughnuts
(inspired by a recipe from Horbach Mill)

  • 500 grams strong flour (while I used the special doughnut flour, you can also use strong flour)
  • 6 eggs (L), free range or organic
  • 500 grams low-fat quark*
  • 200 grams superfine sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 2 1/2 tsp pure vanilla sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
In addition
  • Vegetable shortening/oil for frying
  • 100 grams cinnamon sugar
Preparation of the Doughnuts
  1. Heat the fat/oil for deep-frying to 175° C.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingrediensts until you have a stiff, sticky dough.
  3. Taking two small spoons, shape little round dough balls.
  4. Carefully slide them into the hot oil and fry until they turn a deep golden color. That will take about five minutes.
  5. Using a spider cooking utensil, very carefully lift the doughnuts from the oil and transfer them to a paper lined plate - to drain off some of the fat.
  6. While they are still warm, transfer the doughnuts to a medium bowl with cinnamon sugar and coat them. Serve straight away. NOTE: * Quark is also known as soft white cheese or fromage blanc.
(inspiriert von einem Rezept der Horbacher Mühle)

  • 500 Gramm Krapfenmehl (man kann auch Weizenmehl, Type 1050 nehmen)
  • 6 Eier (L), Freiland-oder Bio
  • 500 Gramm Magerquark (man kann auch griechisches Jogurt nehmen)
  • 200 Gramm feinster Zucker
  • 1/8 TL feines Meersalz
  • 2 ½ TL Backpulver
  • 2 ½ Tl Bourbon Vanillezucker
  • 1 TL Zimt (Ceylon Zimt)
  • Pflanzenfett/ Öl zum Ausbacken
  • 100 Gramm Zimt-Zucker
Zubereitung der Krapfen
  1. Das Fett auf 175 °C erhitzen.
  2. Alle Zutaten in eine große Schüssel geben und solange miteinander verrühren, bis ein zäher Teig entsteht.
  3. Aus dem Teig mit Hilfe von zwei Esslöffeln den Teig zu kleinen Kugeln abstechen.
  4. Diese vorsichtig in das heiße Fett geben und die Krapfen goldgelb auf beiden Seiten ausbacken. Das dauert zirka fünf Minuten.
  5. Mit einem Schaumlöffel die Krapfen herausheben und auf Küchenkrepp etwas abtropfen bzw. entfetten lassen.
  6. Noch warm in Zimt-Zucker wälzen und sofort servieren.

The recipe works really well. I used the spelt as well as the wheat flour and both versions of the Carnival Doughnuts tasted absolutely wonderful - especially when you eat them right away, while they are still a bit warm.

Traditionally, doughnuts can be prepared with either yeast or fresh cheese (quark) as in this recipe. If you use quark in your recipe, the freshly baked doughnus will have a distinct taste of that fresh cheese, like a little tang, which we really enjoy. And they are not overly sweet either. Just right.
Das Rezept hat hervorragend geklappt. Ich habe die Dinkel- sowohl als auch die Weizenmehl-Variante ausprobiert und die Krapfen haben einfach nur wunderbar geschmeckt – am besten, natürlich warm.

Man kann Krapfen ja entweder mit Hefe backen oder mit Quark, wie dieses Rezept. Wenn man frischen Magerquark für dieses Rezept nimmt, bleiben die Krapfen schön saftig und schmecken auch angenehm nach Quark. Wir fanden sie keineswegs zu süß. Mit wirklich wenig Aufwand sind diese Karnivals-Krapfen ohne Hefe schnell gemacht.

So why not give these, no matter what season it is. You certainly do not have to wait for carnival to give these lovely sweet treats a try. And you can even coat them with powdered sugar for a change of pace.

Enjoy Carnival season while it lasts!

For more information with respect to the Horbach Mill, please click here.

Also ruhig mal ausprobieren, nicht nur zur Karnevalszeit schmecken die Quarkkrapfen ausgezeichnet. Wenn man möchte, kann man die Krapfen zur Abwechslung auch mal in Puderzucker wälzen.

Viel Spaß im Karneval!

Für Informationen zur Horbacher Mühle, hier klicken.

Friday, February 13, 2015

French Fridays with Dorie - Chicken Couscous

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Chicken Couscous. Couscous is the name of both the small semolina pasta as well the spiced North African stew that is served with it. As a versatile alternative to rice, couscous is quick and easy to cook and is quite delicious when served with Dorie´s colorful chicken and vegetable stew.

Couscous is traditionally prepared (in a couscoussière) in the steam that rises from the stew simmering underneath. It is a long but enjoyable ritual that gives an exceptionally light and fluffy result. But most of the couscous we buy in Middle Eastern grocery stores (and well-stocked supermarkets) around here, is ready-cooked and dried and needs only a brief soaking in water or stock. It is ready in about five minutes. What Dorie´s recipe lacks in the ritual and lightness of the traditional steamers, it makes up for in speed and ease for a family-friendly, enjoyable Friday evening supper.

For Dorie´s recipe you start by browning the chicken pieces in a large Dutch oven. Then you add the spice mix consisting of freshly grated ginger, ground tumeric, and cumin, cinnamon and saffron threads, as well as freshly ground black pepper, sea salt and some garlic. At this point your are looking to just get the raw taste off the spices. The spice mix will give the chicken not only a wonderful color but will also impart the pieces with delicious flavors.

Then add some homemade chicken stock to the pot, add leeks, onions, celery, carrots and turnips and cook for about fifiteen minutes. Take some of the broth to cook the couscous (I added shredded carrots to the couscous for even more taste and color) and finish the stew with zucchini and chickpeas – which will take about another five minutes to cook.

You should serve this Chicken Couscous while good and hot – I placed a large platter in the middle of the table and served the remainder of the couscous, chicken stew and broth in separate bowls.

Apart from the fact that we enjoyed the flavors of the Chicken Couscous, what I also appreciated about this recipe is that you can cook and season the couscous separately to serve with the chicken. Then the juices from the chicken pieces will flavor the couscous underneath. Thus letting you prepare the stew as well as the couscous at different times. And this recipe also doubles up very easily for larger numbers.

To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.

For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Chicken Couscous “ on pages 214-16 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".

Friday, February 6, 2015

French Fridays with Dorie - Winter Ceviche

Today´s recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group is Winter Ceviche. This recipe for an essentially Latin American dish of fish cured in lime juice is fresh, vibrant and healthy.

Ceviche is, at its most basic, raw fish marinated in citrus juice and spices. The acid in the juice denatures the proteins in the meat in much the same way as cooking would. The flesh becomes opaque, the texture firmer and dryer, yet the flavors remain bright and fresh. A perfect dish for a sunny winter day it seems.

It goes without saying that any fish served raw should be spanking fresh, but, in general, there is no single species that is particularly favored for ceviche. It makes sense to use the local „Catch of the Day“ (if available) and the species you use should change depending on availability. While Dorie´s recipe calls for bay scallops, this recipe seemed to work equally well with fresh organic wild salmon, which is what I chose to use.  In theory, any white fish can be used, but many fragile fish can become rubbery or totally dissolve in the lime juice.

The cut is also important, and suggestions range from largeish chunks (Dorie´s recipe calls for whole bay scallops or quartered sea scallops) to slicing the fish as thinly as possible. It is often said that dicing, rather than slicing, will ensure a good distribution of raw fish and fish cooked on the outside. I chose to dice my salmon for today´s recipe.

The chief marinating ingredient is, of course, citrus juice. Lime is most commonly used, but lemons and even oranges are sometimes used. It seems absolutely vital to use a generous amount of citrus – that way you get a good spoonful along with the fish.

Fresh and light, Dorie´s recipe also calls for seedless grapes (I used green as well as red grapes), mango nectar (I added cubes of fresh mango as well), extra-virgin olive oil (I used my beloved demure cold-pressed almond oil), natural brown sugar, grated zest and juice of one organic lemon and one lime, fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  All those ingredients taken together will be rather gentle to your taste buds. You can make the ceviche in advance, but no more than an hour or so. You could add fresh tarragon just before serving if you wish - I added fresh cress instead, no tarragon to be found anywhere today.

We loved this recipe and did not find the salmon too strong a flavor. It did take on the flavor of the fruity sharpness of limes and the pleasant sourness of lemons, and it did harmonize well with all the other ingredients such as the sweet grapes, mango nectar and small cubes of fresh mango.

To see whether the other members of the French Fridays with Dorie group enjoyed this week´s recipe, please go here.

For copyright reasons, we do not publish the recipes from the book. But you can find the recipe for “Winter Ceviche “ on page 177 in Dorie Greenspan´s cookbook "Around my French Table".