Cooking with herbs : the flavor of Provence

Auteur : Michel Biehn

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Un hommage aux herbes de Provence par un natif de la région, qui propose plus de 80 recettes et détaille les caractéristiques de chaque type d'herbe. ©Electre 2024

"There is hardly a cliché more widely used in today's French cuisine than that of herbes de Provence. Souvenir stores and tourist traps abound with uninspiring little sachets, made of printed cretonne for a `Provençal look' or of burlap for a `natural look,' and all are labeled `Herbes de Provence.' The sachets contain an unidentifiable mix of dried herbs, reduced to powder and exuding an indefinable odor, yet supposedly containing all the magical aromas of the wild open countryside of Provence. What a difference you can taste in herbs gathered on the hillsides or grown in gardens - a rich and wonderful natural harvest, and a cultural treasure of Provence - precious gifts of the land and a wonderful reminder of traditional herb lore.

"The chefs of Marseilles and Avignon know exactly how best to use each herb, alone or in combination with others, to flavor an omelet or a sauce. Cooking with herbs, combining them, marrying their fragrances and flavors is an art, the result of a long, local tradition. Of course it is accessible to any cook with feeling, but it requires a certain initiation period, some experience, and a touch of creativity.

"This book is first and foremost a cookbook. Although I list the medicinal properties of each herb, tonic or diuretic, stimulant or analgesic, I concentrate mainly on flavor, fragrance, and the thousand-and-one traditional or modern culinary uses. I cook the same way my mother taught me, the way she learned from her own mother. It is a simple cuisine, which celebrates the special and magnificent fragrances of Provence that are so dear to me."

In his new work, Michel Biehn, a true fan of Provençal cuisine, pays homage to the herbs of Provence. He evokes their flavors, their fragrances, and the thousand-and-one classic ways in which they are used. In his inimitable style, Michel Biehn presents eighty delicious Provençal recipes collected from lovers of Provence, and explores ancient herb lore - which herbs to use against toothache, which can be used to concoct an Elixir of Beauty.

We discover first of all the herbs of the hills (including thyme, rosemary, and lavender), which perfume the air of Provence with their subtle and evocative scent. These herbs are used to create such delicious dishes as potatoes stuffed with fresh goat's cheese and wild thyme, shoulder of lamb steamed in rosemary, or lavender nougat.

Then come the garden herbs (including aniseed, basil, chives, coriander, and bay leaf) found in every true Provençal kitchen, where they bring their aromas to such treats as spelt soup stirred with a bay twig, aniseed cookies, or juniper jam.

Finally, there are the salad greens and flowers of the field (wild asparagus, poppy shoots, dandelion, wild leeks, arugula, and lamb's lettuce) long gathered on family walks, to flavor dandelion flower jelly, spice cakes, or lasagna with wild flowers.

Each recipe is accompanied by a wine suggestion, inviting readers to recreate the perfect Provençal menu and to bring the sunny colors and flavors of Provence into their own home.

Fiche Technique

Paru le : 02/04/2001

Thématique : Cuisine régionale

Auteur(s) : Auteur : Michel Biehn

Éditeur(s) : Flammarion

Collection(s) : Non précisé.

Série(s) : Non précisé.

ISBN : Non précisé.

EAN13 : 9782080105547

Reliure : Broché

Pages : 160

Hauteur: 29.0 cm / Largeur 22.0 cm

Épaisseur: 1.2 cm

Poids: 910 g