Frenchie and Inspiration

31 Jul

What is inspiration and where does it come from?

Is it a view of tiny and almost unclaimed Lobster Cove in Gloucester, MA with shiny boats, ocean smell and the promise of a delicious dinner at The Market restaurant?

Or the shape of a closed garage door contrasting with stones and spurting white flowers?

Or perhaps the texture and colors of a wall spotted in the Rocky Neck artists’ neighborhood in Gloucester?

Or a narrow window opening onto the world.


A day trip to Gloucester proved to be richly inspiring.

All around.

From the city center to Rocky Neck.

From the Eastern Point Lighthouse to Cape Ann.

Through the Halibut Point State Park and down to the Annisquam River area.

A beautiful day trip with a need for a different scenery giving birth to food and recipe ideas.

Summer food inspirations thanks to plentiful farmers’ markets and my overgrown garden.

A strawberry tart with mint, lemon verbena and Grand Marnier flavors.

A refreshing tomato gazpacho.

A bitter walnut arugula pesto.

A roasted tomato garlic quiche, which I can’t seem to stop making.

Everyday bringing more colors and creativity in the kitchen and on the table.

The new recipes in this post were born from this inspiring day trip.

Green peppercorns – a new revelation thanks to my friend “J.” and his recent gourmand summer dinner outside.

A dinner at the Market Restaurant on Lobster Cove – fresh, seasonal and local ingredients only.

A brand new menu everyday creating a unique experience like no other.

Inspiring and inspired!

And to finish my exquisite meal there, a blackberry honey sorbet.

Must. Recreate. Those. Flavors.

A mixed variety of lettuces from the garden along with beans and baskets of ripe tomatoes did the trick to prepare a salade niçoise.

Fresh, in season, and definitely local.

A salad in honor of the Market. Topped with lobster and green peppercorns of course.

Une salade très fraîche !

A different type of salade niçoise where I removed the potatoes and included the anchovies in the vinaigrette rather than on top.

A salad that can be prepared while debating why the French must remove both ends from the green beans. A daily conversation at my house.

And of course, the strong blackberries from the market paired with a bold honey – thick and golden in color – made perfect muffins.

So perfect, 2 batches were made this past week to test them again… just in case.

Golden-colored muffins with a slightly crusty top and moist blackberries inside.

Once you make them, you’ll know what type of addiction I’ve been suffering from!

Where will the next inspirations come from?

Another dinner, another friend?

Another place, perhaps?

After Gloucester, a new day trip to Provincetown, MA last week. What will it inspire soon?

And most importantly, how do you get inspired? Where do you find it?

What inspires you to make food, take pictures, or what inspires you in general?

Blackberry Honey Muffins

makes 10 muffins

2 eggs

1/3 cup (66 g) of lemon sugar

5 teaspoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of almond butter

3/4 cup (135 g) of brown rice flour

3/4 cup (90 g) of almond meal

1/4 cup (45 g) of white rice flour

pinch of sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/8 teaspoon of lemon extract

1/2 cup (170 g) of honey – I either use a chestnut honey or buckwheat honey for bold flavors.

1 cup (145 g) of blackberries

Preheat the oven to 350 °F (180 °C).

Prepare a muffin pan with muffin/cupcake papers.

In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer for 2 minutes until light and creamy.

Add the oil and almond butter and continue to mix for 1 minute.

Sift the flours over the bowl. Add the salt, baking powder and baking soda and mix well with a spatula until well incorporated.

Pour the lemon extract and honey slowly. Stir.

Fold in the blackberries and stir slowly.

Divide the batter to make 10 muffins and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

Let the muffins stand and cool for 5 minutes in the pan. Remove from the muffin pan and continue to cool on a rack.

Lobster Salade Niçoise with Green Peppercorns

for 4

2 lobsters or lobster tails – cooked and cut in chunks

8-9 oz (250 g) of small French green beans

4 tomatoes – roughly chopped in wedges

8-9 oz (250 g) of lettuce – feel free to mix your lettuces (arugula, mixed greens, Boston, Romaine) – roughly chopped

12-15 olives – niçoise or Kalamata

4 hard-boiled eggs – cut in wedges

2 garlic cloves – minced

1 teaspoon of strong Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of lime juice

1 shallot – chopped

5 anchovy fillets – minced

1/3 cup (80 ml) of olive oil

2 tablespoons of green peppercorns – freshly crushed

Cook the lobster ahead of time so it is cold when the time to put the salad together comes. I prefer to steam lobster rather than boiling it.

Prepare a pot of salted boiling water. Remove the ends of the beans, cut them in half and drop them in the boiling water for 3 minutes.

Drain and stop the cooking process by placing them under cold water until completely cool. Set aside.

Prepare the vinaigrette by placing the garlic, mustard, vinegar, lime juice, shallot and anchovy fillets in a bowl. Slowly pour the olive oil over the ingredients and start to whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Place the lettuce, beans, tomatoes and olives in a bowl. Pour the vinaigrette over and toss with your clean hands or serving utensils.

In a big round serving dish, place the freshly mixed salad and decorate it with the egg wedges and the lobster meat/chunks.

Sprinkle the crushed green peppercorns on top.


13 Responses to “Frenchie and Inspiration”

  1. AnaLuciaSilva July 31, 2012 at 9:58 AM #

    Great shots! Congrats


  2. amelia from z tasty life July 31, 2012 at 11:29 AM #

    Coming to your blog is a feast for the eyes, a virtual vacation!


  3. EricMKE August 1, 2012 at 12:16 AM #

    What great photos!


  4. nadia August 1, 2012 at 10:45 AM #

    how beautiful, i absolutely love gloucester and rockport & rocky neck. these photographs are beautiful and the recipes sounds so refreshing and summer in new england. such a great post, but next time i am coming with:)!


    • David Santori August 1, 2012 at 10:50 AM #

      Thank you all for the lovely comments.
      @ Amelia: that’s exactly how I feel when I look at your Photo Fridays!
      @ Nadia: you really need to see this restaurant on Lobster Cove. A must-do this summer.


  5. Krista August 3, 2012 at 12:25 AM #

    Wow! So much beauty and summer warmth, I love it. 🙂 It’s still winter in Australia, so I LOVE the summery feel of this post. 🙂 What inspires me? Going for walks, reading new books, visiting with interesting people. 🙂


  6. Rosa May (@RosasYummyYums) August 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM #

    A gorgeous place! Perfect for relaxing and enjoying the summer.

    Delicious food too.




  7. jamielifesafeast August 4, 2012 at 9:44 AM #

    What a beautiful post! Gorgeous photos! I too find inspiration everywhere. When I teach about how to get over writer’s block I tell people to look around and just write about whatever pops into their head. Your array of photos is perfect to show that anything can be a thing of inspiration: beautiful, emotional. And I love love love the muffins! I have to make these. And the salad is even better than the original. Great post!


  8. Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic August 8, 2012 at 10:39 AM #

    Hi 🙂 I’m happy to discover your blog via BostInno. These are beautiful pictures! Looking forward to reading more 🙂


    • David Santori August 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM #

      Hi Bianca, welcome to the blog! Happy to have you as a reader.


  9. anna August 10, 2012 at 12:48 AM #

    such gorgeous photos! and i love the idea of a lobster salade nicoise!


    • David Santori August 10, 2012 at 5:58 AM #

      @ Anna: Thank you, it was indeed very good!



  1. Frenchie and a Summer Tart « Frenchie and the Yankee - August 23, 2012

    […] receiving several e-mails about the recent pictures of a strawberry tart featured in an earlier post and inquiries about its recipe, I decided to post […]


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