Braised carrots with turkey escalopes

Braised carrots with turkey escalopes

Braising is a cooking technique: the food is first fried at a higher temperature (medium- high), then covered, a little liquid added and the heat is reduced to medium- low. Braising carrots renders them sweet and tasty.

Serve the braised carrots with turkey or chicken escalopes or a piece of meat and green lentils for a healthy and colourful combination.

2 servings

2- 3 carrots, pref. organic
Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp. black olives, pitted and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

For the turkey escalopes:
2 thin turkey escalopes
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
Bread crumbs
Olive oil

For the lentils:
100 ml green lentils
About 400 ml water

Warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium- high heat in a heavy frying pan. Wash the carrots and either slice them or cut lengthwise into smaller pieces. Fry the carrots stirring frequently until golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium- low. Add the garlic, orange juice, black pepper, and olives. Cover and braise for about 40 minutes, stirring regularly, until the carrots are soft and almost caramelized.

Cook the green lentils for about 30- 40 minutes until soft. Cover and keep warm.

Brush a large oven-proof dish with olive oil. Spread a generous amount of bread crumbs on a large plate. Spread 1 tsp. Dijon mustard on a turkey escalope, then press the escalope against bread crumbs. Repeat the procedure on the other side and place the escalope in the oven- proof dish. Do the same with the other escalope.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the escalopes and roast for 20 minutes.

Divide the escalopes, braised carrots, and green lentils on the plates. Enjoy the colours as well as the food!


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Risotto alla zucchini and oven-roasted salmon

Risotto alla zucchini

Risotto is such an elegant and versatile dish. In the wonderful cookery book, the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, by Nancy Harmon Jenkins I found a recipe by an Italian chef: Risotto with pumpkins. Pumpkins and butternut squashes are great in autumn and winter, whereas zucchinis, courgettes, are true spring and summer vegetables.

The following recipe is my twist of the original Italian recipe. It goes very well with oven roasted salmon.

2 servings

2 nice pieces of salmon, pref. organic
120 ml risotto rice, carnaroli or arborio (not to be rinsed!)
A glass of white wine
About 600 ml vegetable stock (you may not need to use all of it)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large zucchini, courgette
2 tsp. dried parsley
A good handful of grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large heavy casserole warm the olive oil over medium low heat.

Wash the zucchini well under running water with a brush. Chop it, add to the casserole and stir well to coat with olive oil. Add the shallot and garlic, stir and cover the casserole. Cook for about 20 minutes, stirring a few times, until the zucchini is very soft. Purée the zucchini and add the dried parsley.

Preheat the oven to 200° C, roast.

Add the rice to the casserole and increase the heat to medium- medium high. Add ½ glass of white wine and stir. Keep stirring and as soon as the wine has evaporated add the rest of the wine. Then start adding the vegetable stock, a ladle or two at a time, stirring constantly. As soon as the rice has absorbed the liquid add more. It is this constant stirring and adding only a small amount of liquid at a time which gives the creaminess to the risotto, without any cream or butter.

The rice is done in about 25 minutes, give or take. It should be al dente, with a bit of bite in it.

When the rice is done, remove the casserole from the heat and stir in the parmesan and black pepper. The risotto should be thick enough to be eaten with a fork.

Meanwhile roast the salmon pieces in 200° C for about 10 minutes, depending the thickness of the slices and how well done you wish your salmon.

Divide the risotto on two plates and spread with a fork. Place the salmon on top of the risotto.


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L'Escalet to Plage de Briande

Cap Taillat

We have previously hiked along the coastal trail from Cap Camarat to l’Escalet and from Plage de Gigaro to Cap Lardier. The trail running along the shores of the southern St-Tropez peninsula is truly wonderful.

On a warm autumn day, we now drove to l’Escalet to explore the trail to Plage de Briande.

Soon after l’Escalet, it was possible to choose a narrower and rockier trail along the cliffs at Point du Canadel. This trail, marked difficile, was nevertheless quite easy to negotiate. We came near a small beach named Plage d’Amour after which we joined the easy upper trail.

We had Cap Taillat in front of us. After a devastating forest fire in 2017, the scenery had changed dramatically compared with our earlier visit. There were black, burned trees along the trail, and Cap Taillat was almost bare. We passed several small beaches, such as Plage de la Douane and Plage Taillat. From the Cap Taillat Isthmus, only a short stroll remained along some cliffs to Plage de Briande.

Plage de Briande is a magnificent sandy beach.  We waded in the sea to the other end of the beach for a picnic. This was our turning point, as the trail which continued to Cap Lardier, looked scarred in the burnt landscape. Luckily in some places the nature was already recovering.

On the way back, we took the easy trail all the way back to l’Escalet.

Distance: 6 km

Climb: 110 m

Duration: 2 h 30


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Duck breast, blond lentil risotto and broccoli purée

Duck breast, blond lentil risotto and broccoli purée

Blond lentils, lentilles blondes, can be cooked in about 20 minutes, about the same time as risotto rice. I recently read an article about a French chef who cooked blond lentils in the same way as risotto. So, I thought why not try this. The result was so good that I wish to share this unusual way of cooking healthy blond lentils.

Sometimes one gets tired of plain steamed broccoli florets so a broccoli purée makes a nice change. It is quick to make with a handheld mixer. Make the risotto and broccoli purée while the duck breast is roasted in the oven.

2 servings

1 duck breast
120 ml blond lentils
150 ml white wine
About 600 ml vegetable stock (you may not need all of it)
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
A handful of grated parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil
½ large or 1 small broccoli head, florets only
Chopped parsley to decorate

Preheat the oven to 200°C, roast.

Criss-cross the fat side of the duck breast with a sharp knife and place the breast fat side up in an ovenproof dish. Roast for 15 minutes, then turn the duck breast and continue roasting for 10- 15 minutes.  Remove the breast from the oven on a slicing board and cover with aluminium foil to keep it warm.

While the duck is roasting in the oven make the blond lentil risotto and broccoli purée.

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a heavy casserole over medium heat and sauté shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and stir until well coated with olive oil. Start adding the wine, then vegetable stock ladle by ladle the same way as cooking the risotto while stirring the lentils regularly. They won’t become as creamy as risotto rice so don’t worry about stirring them all the time as you would with risotto rice.

While the lentil risotto is cooking, microwave the broccoli florets with 1 tbsp; of water for about 4- 6 minutes until soft. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and some vegetable stock and purée with a handheld mixer. Add more vegetable stock, if needed, for a nice consistence. Cover and keep warm.

When the lentils are cooked into a nice consistence, al dente, soft but still offering some resistance just like risotto rice, remove the casserole from heat and stir in the parmesan.

Divide the broccoli purée on the plates and flatten with a spoon. Slice the duck breast and place on top of the broccoli purée. Divide the lentil risotto on the side and decorate with chopped parsley.


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