Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tomorrow's Forecast: Too Darn Hot

Today's temperature: 94 F (34 C).... Tomorrow's: 98 F (36 C)....

Sure, it's nice to live in such a sunny place as Austin, but sometimes, I could really do without the unbearable heat and humidity. In France, temperatures go down as the sun sets, but in Austin, they remain stagnant; It's too hot to eat outside. It's too hot to do lots of things outside actually!

My favorite time of the year at my parents' in France? May and June. We have breakfast, lunch and dinner outside on the terrace. It's a very tranquil spot: our house is on a hill and it overlooks the green mountains of Bugey.

We enjoy the tomatoes from our garden, the salads, the strawberries, still warm from the heat of the sun.

Regular dishes we enjoy during that time of the year are radishes with goat cheese, ratatouille, cold asparagus with vinaigrette, melon-port and cured ham, sauteed new potatoes and salad. I could go on and on. I love the dishes from that season!

On our terrace, dinners turn into long wonderful hours of talking about everything and anything. We soak in the cooler temperatures of the evening as we water the flowers and the garden to digest. The crickets sing their hypnotizing serenade, the frogs from the pond below our house croak and a few glow-worms light up the backyard. It's nighttime in my dear village of Bouvesse and I leave you with a recipe for you to enjoy on a hot evening, wherever you are!

My goat cheese and spinach tart is great served cold (the way I do it) - or at room temperature with a green salad and a simple vinaigrette. It's great because it can be made ahead and kept for several days!

1 store bought pie dough
1 shallot, chopped
1 pack of frozen spinach (about 1 cup cooked) - or use fresh spinach, whatever you have -
pinch of nutmeg
4 eggs
1 cup of heavy cream
7 oz of fresh goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon of Herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon of salt
lots of fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 F (200 C). Lay the dough onto a round tart dish, like this one.
Press down gently and poke the dough with a fork.

Cook the shallot in some olive oil until softened, about 3 minutes. Remove and reserve. Cook the frozen spinach in same pan, according to directions. At the end, add some nutmeg. Let the spinach cool a little.

Meanwhile, beat together the eggs and the cream and the shallots. Add the goat cheese (make sure you crumble it) and mix a little more. Add the salt, the pepper and the Herbes de Provence.

With your hands, squeeze the excess water from the spinach and lay on the dough. Pour the eggs-cream-goat cheese mixture on top. Bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until nice and brown.

Let the tart cool for at least 1 hour before cutting.

1 comment:

Chef JP said...

The tart looks delicious! Very enjoyable website!