Tag Archives: Mint

Frenchie and the Mint-Infused Quinoa Tabbouleh

7 Jun

The move to Charlotte still fresh in my mind and France was already calling me.

A quick trip for a milestone birthday, a family visit and to recharge my French batteries.

And despite the gray, rainy, drab spring weather covering Europe throughout the month of May, we found the time to cook, visit, laugh, eat and use our umbrellas.

Many photos, memories and the story of a tabbouleh.

Magically, the sun came out at two distinct times during the trip.

As we were about to sit down for the birthday lunch – shinning brightly in the garden, calling us to delay lunch time and play in the garden.

And during a Parisian weekend as I explored new places and discovered new bites.

The feeling of being stuck inside when it’s cold and rainy outside.

The joy in everyone’s eyes when the call of the first sun rays hit the windows.

Tous dehors !

And with the amount of bouton-d’ors – buttercups – sprinkled in the fields showing us yellow dots all around, it was a celebration of all things yellow, happy and bright.

Despite all this, I still managed to enjoy the changing seasonal menu of L’Alchimie.

The quaint and quirky setting of Colorova Pâtisserie along with their tempting pastries.

The elegant design and honey-roasted pigeon at Le Quinze.

A very green matcha (green tea) financier in a newly opened 1950-1960s vibe Café Loustic for a quick goûter with my twin from another life – the lovely Lost in Cheeseland.

And an unusual mango éclair sprinkled with pansies at L’Éclair de Génie. When art meets food.

And then came the tabbouleh.

A secret but not-so-secret recipe.

Inspired by a recipe from “T.”.

A spring dish, a green plate, a yearly tabbouleh to prepare around that time of year.

A tabbouleh inspired by many springs. By a lifetime of many springs.

Rain, cold and gray – et si on faisait un taboulé ?

Yes, let’s make a tabbouleh! Un taboulé de couscous.

I knew I had to make something similar when I got home. A quinoa version.

And a southern maple cider vinaigrette with mustard was truly a good pairing as a way to celebrate new influences.

Mint-Infused Quinoa Tabbouleh with Peas and Maple Cider Vinaigrette

for 4-6

2 cups + 1/3 cup (553 ml) of water

50-60 mint leaves (whole) + 30 extra leaves (chopped)

3/4 cup (110 g) of peas, fresh or frozen

1 cup (200 g) quinoa, uncooked (white, red, or mixed)

1 Tbsp of summer savory, chopped

1 Tbsp of lemon thyme, chopped

1.5 Tbsp of flat-leaf parsley (or chervil), chopped

7 Tbsp of olive oil

1 teaspoon of strong French mustard

2 Tbsp of maple syrup, medium amber

4 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar

sea salt and pepper

4 Tbsp of unsalted, dry toasted slivered almonds

zest of 1 organic lemon (optional: add the juice of the lemon for an extra lemony flavor)

Prepare a mint herbal tea-like water as a base for cooking the peas and quinoa later.

Bring the water to a boil with 50-60 mint leaves in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes. Cover with a lid, remove from the heat and infuse for 15-20 min.

Squeeze out the excess water from the leaves with a spatula or a spoon and discard the leaves.

Bring the mint herbal water back to a boil. Cook the peas for 2 min, if frozen, or 3-4 min if fresh.

Strain the peas in a colander and over a bowl – do not discard the mint water and keep it aside in the bowl.

Run cold water over the peas in the colander to stop the cooking process. Set aside.

Put the mint water back in the saucepan. Rinse the quinoa throughly in cold water. Place the rinsed quinoa in the mint water and bring to a boil.

Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until all water is absorbed – about 10-13 min.

When done, fluff the quinoa with a fork and let cool in a bowl.

Prepare the vinaigrette in a small bowl by whisking the summer savory, lemon thyme, parsley and oil together. Whisk until well mixed.

Add the mustard, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, sea salt and pepper while continuing to whisk.

Pour the vinaigrette over the cooked quinoa and mix well.

Add the peas, almonds, remaining chopped mint leaves and the lemon zest. Mix delicately so the peas don’t get mashed.

Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve cold.


Frenchie and a Summer Tart

23 Aug

Sometimes a post does not have to be about an enrapturing story.

Nor does it have to be about the magical account of a scenic trip spent in a peacefully serene location with an incomparable panorama.

Sometimes it’s just about the food and nothing but the food.

The food…

Hovering over a plate. Over a dish.

Embracing the fact that a particular recipe has to be shared with all of you as soon as possible because it’s just that good.

After 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 it.

A recipe I have now made countless times this summer.

Always a hit. Never a crumb left on the serving plate.

A soft, crusty, crumbly, buttery tart pastry.

The type of pâte brisée that was born from a mistake – pure luck. Aren’t these the best mistakes?

Paired with a fruity bite hinting on mint, lemon and orange.

And trying to resist eating a second piece is to no avail.

I made this tart with several other fruit throughout the season – other berries and stone fruits.

My favorite one in the end was the strawberry tart.

Une tarte vraiment délicieuse.


And thank you to BostInno, NoshOn.It and FriendsEAT for featuring Frenchie and the Yankee this month in various pieces. Check them out below:

Boston’s must-read food blogs.

The roasted tomato and garlic quiche featured for a Gluten-Free Sunday post.

And a Favorite Blogger of the Week highlight interview.

Grand Marnier-Flavored Strawberry Tart with Mint and Lemon Verbena

makes a 9-inch tart

for the gluten-free crust

3/4 cup (60 g) of sweet white rice flour

2/3 cup (80 g) of almond meal

1/3 cup (40 g) + 2 Tbsp of millet flour

1/3 cup (40 g) of tapioca flour

3/4 cup (90 g) of powdered sugar

1.5 teaspoon of guar gum

a pinch of salt

1 Tbsp of finely chopped lemon verbena

8 Tbsp (115 g) of cold butter – cut in small cubes

1 egg + 1 Tbsp of water

Sift the 4 flours and the sugar together over a big bowl and combine them with the guar gum, sea salt and lemon verbena.

Drop the butter cubes in the bowl and working slowly with your fingers, rub the butter with the flour mix until sandy, soft and well absorbed. It should be lumpy and should look like breadcrumbs.

Crack the egg in a small bowl and add the cold water to it. Whisk for a few seconds with a fork to combine the water and egg.

Dig a well in the center of the big bowl and pour the egg/water in the center.

Mix delicately with your hands in a circular motion until the dough forms a ball. Do not knead it too much.

Flatten the ball, cover and wrap with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 1 hour. If chilled overnight, remember to remove it from the fridge and wait at least 45 minutes before rolling it.

for the filling

about 15 oz (400 g) of strawberries – hulled and halved

1 Tbsp of Grand Marnier

1 Tbsp of finely chopped mint

1 Tbsp of finely chopped lemon verbena

2 Tbsp of blonde cane sugar

1 finely zested organic orange

2 Tbsp of red currant jelly – or black currant jelly for a different colored tart

While the dough is resting in the fridge and before you blind bake it, place the strawberries in a big bowl with the Grand Marnier, mint, lemon verbena, sugar and orange zest. Mix and make sure the strawberries are well coated.

Let the strawberries marinate in the bowl for 30-40 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, use a spoon to coat them again with the juices at the bottom of the bowl.

Preheat the oven to 400 °F (200 °C).

Roll out the dough to fill a 9-inch tart pan (22-23 cm). I use some of the tapioca flour to roll the dough. Line the dough with the pan, press in the corners, and trim it without any overhang.

With a fork, make small holes at the bottom over the entire surface. Cover the dough with parchment paper, drop weights on it (another smaller oven-proof dish, or dry garbanzo beans) and blind bake the crust for 10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven, remove the parchment paper and the weights, and bake for another 8 minutes.

When done, lower the oven temperature to 350 °F (180 °C).

Arrange the strawberry halves on the crust. Keep their juices in the bowl.

Whisk the red currant (or black currant) jelly in the bowl with the sweet juices and pour all over the strawberries in the tart.

(You might need an additional 1 Tbsp of Grand Marnier depending how thick the jelly is)

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes. Let the tart cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

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