Monday, 12 May 2014

Je ne parle pas français - Salade Pastourelle

Eh bien, je ne parle pas français. Well, I tried it at school for some month, but honestly I don't really understand much French. Nevertheless I like French cooking. Now, some time ago, I had strange ideas when travelling. I thought I might get a cookbook, when I'm on holiday ... in that country ... in the local language. As a consequence, I ended up with an Italian and a French cookbook. Great, I'm not really able to read it properly. So I didn't really make any efforts to try some recipes.
Here is, where it starts to get interesting. Dom from Belleau Kitchen has another entertaining idea for this month's random recipes. The theme is time for a spring clean and the idea is to give those books you would get rid off another go. Anyway, I wouldn't even think of getting rid off any of my cookbooks, even those I can't read properly. Nevertheless, I wanted to give one of those two books a go. The rolling of dice decided for the French one, which is Je Sais Cuisiner by Ginette Mathiot, and the random choice came up to Salade Pastourelle, which freely translated has to mean Young Shepherdess Salad. Have a look ...

This was the second try to select a random recipe for I by no means wanted to make anything with rognon de bœuf. Sorry, but no. I wouldn't know where to get beef kidneys and I don't want to know what they taste like.
So I was lucky I came to the salad section with the second attempt. Still there would be the challenge to translate the ingredients and the recipe. Then I reduced the amounts to m needs and came up with the following.

5 small round onions, cooked, roasted, whatever
1 pickled gherkin, finely sliced
3 anchovy fillets, sliced
2 hard boiled egg yolks
50 g tuna in oil
2 tsp. capers
8 pitted olives
Vinegar, oil, salt, pepper
Freshly chopped parsley

Another problem with the book was, there are nearly 2000 recipes in the book, but no pictures of the dishes at all and the instructions are very limited.
However, I was so focused on getting the small round onions, that I totally mixed things up and got the wrong ones, for in the recipe it said you should boil them in salted water for 30 minutes. My onions needed no cooking at all, because they came in a jar  and where already roasted.
Accordingly my sole job was to get the egg yolks ready and then carefully mix all the ingredients together. Well, the egg yolks and the parsley where supposed to feature as a garnish.
Now I can not say whether I got this salade pastourelle right, but I liked it and as a matter of fact had another one the day after, however without egg yolks. I wasn't ready for more eggs that day.

I reckon, that cookbook has a lot of good French recipes in it. Fine, a few might be towards a direction I don't want to go, but I guess I could work a bit more on my French and have another go at something else. Maybe then I'll be able to figure out, why I got the book in the first place ...


  1. it is a bit mean but it looks delicious and beautifully healthy nonetheless.. I love a simple rustic salad like this, packed with flavour... and such a cool retro looking book too... thanks so much for the brilliant random recipes entry x

    1. Are you sure? Anyway, it was a lovely salad, otherwise I wouldn't think of adding it to my list.

  2. Very tasty and fresh, this shepherdess! I also couldn't bring myself to just giving any cookbook away.

    1. It could always serve as decoration and ... as we have seen ... you never know ...

  3. I have a book of Spanish cuisine.... in French LOL. Your salad looks lovely. I would never give up a cook book either....

    1. I hope then, your French is better than mine.


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