burnished broccolini (or other spring veggies) with miso dressing
wherein I no longer number my substacks & some renovation updates
Spring is here. Sweet mother mcgurk, it’s exciting. Last week I asked if it was caprese season yet, and JUST THE NEXT DAY I saw the first of the seasons tomatoes (grown locally in a non-heated greenhouse) arrive at my local market. I was chuffed, to say the least. (Next week, I am sharing my new favorite rendition of a Caprese. One for spring, and one wherein the really good mozzarella isn’t as important because…there is CHILLI CRISP. But you’ll have to wait for that. But if you want to get ahead of the game, and make some chilli crisp (it does keep after all) you can make one by. Here’s a link to hers. )
(These new photos were taken by Leslie Choucard. We love her.)
We’re tucked into Grasse these days, in our new house—Lou Pitchou, we mention it during one of the episodes of La Pitchoune: Cooking in France, which is still streaming if you missed it on HBOMax, Discovery+, or Magnolia Network— for the first spring we’ve spent here. This is the 2nd to last of ‘first seasons’ we’ve spent here. And we’re still learning the rhythm of the land. Spring has proven that lotuses and water lilies live in abundance in the cisterns. They eek themselves out of the 8 foot depths one inch at a time, growing unnoticed for weeks until they peek their blossoms from the water, and stretch petals to the sun. Closing in the evenings in prayer and rest (something I am learning to attempt to do myself). In this season of firsts, there is the magic of new life in every corner. Figuring out what actually already grows here, before we hack it all back, and bring a farm to the grounds. Each day, there are gravity-fed springs to tend to—we’re lucky that we have more than 4000 gallons running through the property each and every day—currently that just runs down the hill and into oblivion.
We’re currently investigating (and investing) in a way to collect the water—from the springs we’re allowed, while the others will need to continue to bibble bobble their way down the hill as some of our neighbours have a ‘doit d’eau’, a literal right to the water, that was signed into seemingly stone tablets before 1900.
Once we can collect some of this? We will have irrigation systems to figure out. All of that needs to be sorted before we can open our farm, which will be the main produce provider for our restaurant. Ferme de Douces Fleurs, or Sweet Flowers Farm will be ready to go *hopefully* by 2024. We decided to allow the land a whole season to expose to use what she is capable of, before we barge our way in.
AND we’re under MASSIVE renovations. Here, at Lou Pitchou. At La Peetch (although they are paused because The Courageous Cooking School is BACK IN SESSION! We had our first week of guests, they check out tomorrow.) AND at THE RESTAURANT!
Y’all. I think I’ve jumped the shark. Lost the plot. My capacity to stay grounded is in question. And woah. I’m both happy and tired. And thrilled. AND FREAKING OUT! Because, that’s just life these days. I have zero complaints, I am just standing in the woah of all of it. And soaking it in.
BETWEEN ALL THAT! I have somehow managed to send an updated manuscript for my cookbook to my publisher and editor. NOW AT NEARLY 80,000 WORDS! (It needs to get cut by about 30,000 or so most likely.)
Since you can’t cook from my book, and I am decidedly not a dessert person, you should nab a copy of Sweet Enough bybefore it sells out. Or pre-order Start Here by the aforementioned). There’s a lot of waiting in cookbook world.
BUT SINCE I AM NO LONGER IN THE THROES (and woes) of testing and jiggering and retesting recipes for my book, I am now back to posting weekly FUN, NOT French, new recipes I am playing with.
Burnished Broccolini (or other spring vegetables) with Miso Dressing
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