On part en pique-nique ?
Summer times stay a special time of the year, because in my eyes, it involves a lot of eating outdoors. And I know well that I am not alone to feel this way. To me, there is not a better feeling than eating a meal in the open air. You breathe in, you smell everything, it just feels so much better. Especially as I think that I am somewhat claustrophobic. Not my fault I shall add! I am one of those lucky ones who grew up in a big house, with a big garden, and tons of big green fields around. I like kitchens opening to outside patios and garden, which reminds me of this story.
When I moved to the States, I remember my first reaction to screen doors and window screens generally speaking. I felt trapped! I complained to P. and kept asking him to remove them, to which he would invariably respond: “Don’t you have mosquitos in France? You like them? Wait, tu verras !” (you will see!), but I just could not help it, I hated those awful prison-like screens! Mais si, on a des moustiquaires (mosquito screens), mais pas aux fenêtres! I just wanted to be able to stick my hand out of the window if I wanted to! After a few animated conversations, I gave in. He was right. We needed window screens. I was, however, not ready to fully give in. When we moved into our house a few years ago, I decided that I would start my action plan. Screens we kept for sure, but instead of the traditional American half-screen door, I had the whole door screened, so that I would still feel I was outside, while being inside. Pas bête, eh ? (not stupid, eh?)
A little peek chez moi
Besides eating a lot outside on our patio, we are also fond of picnics. Pack food, take a blanket, the tea thermos, cups and plates, a basket full of goodies, wine if we don’t hike, find a nice shady place by a tree, lie down, feel the breeze, hear the birds and the water in the stream nearby. Who would not like this paradise? When I can bring more elaborate things than sandwiches to un pique-nique, I do. I suppose that I was quite well-trained since when I was a kid, our whole family would go on pique-niques pretty much every week, during the summer. For those occasions, my mum and I used to prepare savoury tarts, salades composées (composed salads) with pasta or rice, bring crisps (des chips Flodor!), cooked meats, baguette and cheese, saucisson sec, terrines, sweet tarts or clafoutis, along with the sets of pétanque and cards. In every place and country, people enjoy picnics. You only need to look at parks in cities or the countryside during Spring and Summer to be convinced. On a nice day, the parks in Boston are a display of many different nationalities, all picnicking in their own way, with their own traditions. Some are loud when others are quiet. It is an interesting patchwork!
Even at Slashfood, people enjoy picnics. As a matter of fact, July 13th is picnic day. So let’s go! I made a Hazelnut, Zucchini and Carrot Terrine, fairly easy to pack (promise!) and eat. You still need a plate and a fork, or maybe not, as you can simply eat it with your hands. In any case, it is nice and cool.
You might have noticed that I made two different terrines [terin]. I actually prepared the second one, forgetting to mix the cooked carrots with the puréed carrots, which is why you see two different layers (bottom pictures). An incident can bring good things. Ester did it here with a cake she made, I did it with my terrine. If you remember, this is just how the tarte Tatin was born.
- 2 lb peeled carrots, cut in big chunks
- 2/3 cup hazelnut powder
- 1 Tbsp chopped savory and tarragon
- 4 eggs
- 1 oz grated parmesan
- 1 zucchini
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat your oven at 350 F.
- Peel the carrots and cut them in big chunks (1″).
- Steam them for about 15 to 20 mns.
- Keep 1/3 of the carrots on the side.
- Purée the rest with the eggs, hazelnut powder, chopped herbs and the grated parmesan.
- Pour into a bowl and mix with the reserved carrots. (or keep them separate to make two different layers)
- Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Take a rectangular terrine pan (or a bread pan) and cover with parchment paper.
- Wash the zucchini and make large peels with a vegetable peeler.
- Heat a frying pan and heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.
- Sautée the large pieces of zucchinis, a few mns on each side.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Remove from the pan and place them on a paper towel to dry them out a little.
- Place a few slices of zucchinis at the bottom of your bread pan, then cover with half of the carrot preparation (or the reserved carrots if not mixed).
- Continue with another layer of zucchinis and the rest of the carrot preparation. (Make sure it goes down in the bottom.)
- Place the bread pan with the terrine in a larger oven dish, in which you pour 1 glass of water.
- Cook your terrine for about 45 mns.
- Take out of the oven and let cool down before carefully unmolding.
This terrine can be eaten cold or warm.
- 850 g de carottes épluchées et coupées en gros morceaux (2,5 cm)
- 40 g de poudre de noisettes
- 1 càs de sariette et d’estragon hachés finement
- 4 oeufs
- 30 g de parmesan râpé
- 1 courgette
- Sel et poivre
- Huile d’olive
- Préchauffez votre four à 180 C.
- Pelez les carottes et coupez-les en morceaux (2,5 cm) .
- Faites-les cuire à la vapeur pendant 15 à 20 mns.
- Réservez 1/3 des carottes de côté.
- Réduisez le reste en purée avec les oeufs, la poudre de noisettes, les herbes et le parmesan râpé.
- Versez dans un bol et mélangez avec les carottes mises de côté. (ou gardez les 2 préparations séparées, pour faire deux couches différentes)
- Mélangez bien. Salez et poivrez.
- Prenez un moule à terrine rectangulaire, et recouvrez-le de papier sulfurisé graissé.
- Lavez la courgette et découpez-la en lanières à l’aide d’un couteau économe.
- Chauffez 2 càs d’huile d’olive dans une poêle.
- Faitez rapidement revenir les courgettes, quelques minutes de chaque côté.
- Salez et poivrez-les.
- Retirez-les de la poêle, et posez-les sur du papier absorbant pour les sécher un peu.
- Placez quelques lanières de courgettes les unes à côté des autres au fond du moule, puis couvrez de la moitié de préparation aux carottes (ou les carottes entières si vous ne les avez pas mélangées).
- Continuez avec une autre couche de courgettes et finissez par la deuxième moitié de préparation aux carottes. (Assurez-vous qu’elle se répartit bien au fond du moule.)
- Placez votre moule dans un plat allant au four plus grand, dans lequel vous vesez un bon verre d’eau.
- Cuisez au four pendant 45 mns.
- Sortez du four et laissez refroidir avant de démouler avec précaution.
Mangez la terrine froide ou tiède.