CREAMY LEEKS & TARRAGON ON TOAST from The Cook and the Gardener: A Year of Recipe & Writings from the French Countryside by Amanda Hesser $35
This New York Times Editor lived in a 17th century chateau in Burgundy for a year & cultivated a friendship with the crusty old gardener. Amanda’s recipes chronicle her life in the Yonne River Valley one delicious month after another… I took this from the March chapter. Enjoy!
2 medium leeks, trimmed, cut in half lengthwise and washed
2 tablespoons butter
Coarse or kosher salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup soft goat’s milk cheese with rind (if there is one)
removed, and broken into small pea-size pieces
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (about 6 sprigs)
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves (about 4-5 branches)
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices crusty bread, toasted in the oven
1 clove garlic
Slice the leeks crosswise to make 1/4-inch half-moons. Melt the butter in a large saute pan. Add the leek and cook over low heat so it softens but does not color. Once the leek is meltingly soft (8 to 10 minutes), turn up the heat to high to cook off excess liquid, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in the cream. Reduce to thicken, about 1 minute. Add the goat’s milk cheese and stir until it is melted and the mixture is well bound. Add the parsley and tarragon and season to taste with pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside but keep warm.
Rub the slices of bread with the garlic clove. Mound the leeks on the toast and serve.
And what else would make this complete? Wine of course!
Hippolyte Reverdy Sancerre 2012, Sancerre $14.99 375 ml, $27.99 750 ml
This has always been my favorite Sancerre. The Reverdy family has been making wine in the commune of Sancerre as far back as 1600, initially raising goats & producing wine for local consumption. Son Michel Reverdy started making the wine shortly after graduating high school: “His dedication is total. He’s one of the few remaining vignerons in France who truly live like a paysan [peasant]. No vacation, no travel, ever. He’s happy just to stay on the farm, working seven days a week, and wanting nothing more and nothing less…”
This Sauvignon Blanc is as classic as you can get and a true benchmark in the region. Bring on the oysters & goat cheese!
Victoria’s Kitchen Almond Water Original with Vanilla & Rose $2.75 16 oz
From a recipe from the south of France, concocted by the founder’s grandmother, Victoria. This is incredibly refreshing on its own, or used in cocktails. One of Eater’s “Top 30 ‘Whoa’ Moments at 2014 Fancy Food Show”. Only 110 calories–all natural & delightful.
Carr Valley Mobay, Wisconsin $21.99
This American original is a play off of French Morbier. A cheese with a split-personality… The line of ash which runs through Morbier was a way of distinguishing the morning milk from the evening’s milking. Carr Valley cleverly decided to use a line of grape vine ash to separate sheep’s milk from goat’s milk. Creamy, tangy, & completely original, ask for a taste & you’ll become a fan too. One customer said it was the best cheese he’d ever tried.
Hudson Valley Foie Gras $45.99 lb
We sell our foie gras to order, packed every week from our purveyor Nicky Farms. Enough said…
AIX Rose 2012, Coteaux d’Aix en Provence $15.99
We still have a few bottles of this left! Aix & Avignon are two of my favorite towns in France, & AIX is definitely one of my favorite rose’s of the season. This is the PALEST of the pale rose’s. A blend of Grenache, Cinsault, Syrah, & Counoise from vineyards made of clay, limestone & gravel. Minerally, light & breezy with grapefruit acidity. Ahhhhhhh