Sunday, October 31, 2010


Oh mon dieux, quelle pissaladiere delicieuse! Une pissaladiere is a kin to a pizza and native to the region of Provence, which happens to be neighbored by Italy. Pissaaladiere is usually made in the shape of a rectangle, similar to that of a French tart. If you aren't concerned with the vegan aspect, anchovies are a common topping, but the Provencal pizza is just as lovely without.

Difficulty Level: Facile (Easy)

What you need:
For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 4 yellow onions, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • cornmeal, for baking
  • 15 oil-cured black olives
For the dough: (makes 2, so you can freeze one for la prochaine fois)
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (100 to 110 degrees)
  • 2 envelopes dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
What to do:
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and cook the onions, garlic, salt, pepper and thyme over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring intermittently. After 30 minutes, take out the garlic and chop roughly, then add it back to the onions. 
  2. For the dough, combine the water, yeast, sugar and olive oil in a bowl. Add 3 cups of the flour and mix. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for ten minutes. Pace dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover with the oil.Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Divide the dough into two equal parts, rolling each one into a smooth ball. Wrap one and freeze. Roll the other ball of dough with a rolling pin, stretching it to a 10 by 15-inch rectangle and place it on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal.
  4. Spoon the onion topping onto the dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border all around. Arrange the olives and bake for 15 minutes. Serve hot on a cutting board. Bon appetit!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower (Choufleur) Soup

"How can anyone govern a nation that has two hundred and forty-six different kinds of cheese?" -Charles de Gaulle

It's true, the French love their cheese. And for good reason! It's fabulous. They also love their heavy cream, rabbits, ducks, goose livers, etc. For the discerning vegan, creating animal-free French-inspired cuisine might seem an impossible feat (as did Charles de Gaulle regarding the ruling of his bel pays.) It can be done. While it may not taste as authentic as savoring the real thing in a candlelit bistro overlooking the river Seine, vegan-friendly French cuisine is gradually gaining popularity-even among its citizens.

This particular soup might be served as a starter in France. You may wish to do the same, or serve it as an entree with a fresh green salad.

What you need:
  • 1 head choufleur
  • 1 cup onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh thyme, to taste
  • 3 cups vegetarian chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. vegan butter
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Toss cauliflower, onions and garlic together in a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Toss gently to coat. Roast the vegetables, uncovered for 25 minutes.
  2. Place the roasted vegetables into a large pot with the stock, and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vegan butter. Puree the soup in an immersion blender or in batches using a countertop blender. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve hot. 
This recipe serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main dish. Enjoy this soup with a fresh garden salad and a glass of your favorite white wine or Perrier. Salut!