Alain Passard’s 5 Simple Recipes to Enhance Winter Vegetables


HE HAS at home or in a restaurant, obviously, the plant revolution is underway. Nothing is healthier, more delicious and more economical than a vegetable or fruit, raw or cooked, as long as it is in season. Last summer we offered a series of recipes imagined by great chefs, to easily accommodate the summer stars. Romain Meder, for example, had cooked the melon while Jean-François Piège chose the tomato AND Omar Dhiab, the cherry. No one will go unnoticed that winter is coming! This is no reason to lose good habits. To give us great seasonal plant-based recipes, we turn to the king of plants: Alain Passard.

Flashback. In 1999, in the context of the mad cow crisis, this excellent roaster, awarded three Michelin stars at L’Arpège, removed meat from its menu. His clients are destabilized, people close to him believe he is finished. Quite the opposite is happening. Passard opens a new path and inspires vocations, David Toutain he has Mauro Colagreco. Twenty-five years later, animal meat has returned to restaurants. The stars never abandoned him.

Meanwhile, the chef launched two vegetable gardens, in Sarthe and then in Eure, and materialized his vision: “To make vegetables a grand cru”. With a fundamental principle, that of seasonality, the salt of its creativity. With an apron tied and mandolin in hand, he welcomes us into his home, into his kitchen, to deliver five recipes of disarming purity and flavor. Instinctive recipes, “openers”, as he calls them, each element can be replaced by another, according to desire and the products available. To your stewards and, as Alain Passard likes to say: “Have a good meal! »

Cooking winter vegetables: 5 recipes from Alain Passard

Turnip and radish carpaccio, pear and coriander

Choose vegetables of different colors: golden turnips, globe turnips and red-fleshed radishes, for example. Rinse and dry. If they are organic, do not peel them, just remove the impurities with a vegetable peeler. Cut thin slices with a mandolin. Pour some olive oil on a plate, dip each slice in it and arrange it in a rosette. Cut the pear into 8 and place 3 to 4 peeled segments on the carpaccio. Add strips of red or green sorrel, coriander leaves, a little fleur de sel and a drizzle of olive oil.

Pumpkin baked in salt crust

Choose a medium-sized pumpkin. On the oven tray, form a cylinder of baking paper, tied with kitchen twine. Place the whole pumpkin in the center and cover three-quarters with Guérande salt. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, the skin should be soft to the touch and slightly marked. It is important to let it rest for at least 40 minutes so that the salt continues to diffuse its heat into the pumpkin flesh. Remove the baking paper. Cut off the top of the vegetable, remove the seeds. If cooking is successful, the pulp will come out on its own. Season with toasted rapeseed oil, fleur de sel, dried pepper flakes, thyme and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Serve with a spoon. Rapeseed oil can be replaced with olive oil, chilli pepper with pepper or cinnamon, thyme with rosemary, sage or savory and vinegar with a dash of lemon juice. And it also works great with a simple spoonful of white cheese on the still-steaming pumpkin!

Vegetable planter with celery branch

Choose different colored varieties such as carrots, turnips and radishes. Clean them and cut them into nice pieces, keeping the shape of the vegetable as much as possible. In a frying pan, heat a small ladle of vegetable broth or water, about 1 cm, with a sprig of thyme and a few sage leaves. It is important to use the largest pan possible, so that the vegetables are flat, without overlapping each other. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes over low heat, uncovered, adding a little broth little by little and turning the vegetables from time to time. They should remain slightly crunchy. Let it rest off the heat in the skillet. Add strips of raw celery, delicately cut with a mandolin, and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix. Place directly on the table or arrange on plates.

Leek, apple and mint trilogy

Cut 2 to 3 small leeks into small pieces. Soak in water to clean them. Cook covered and over low heat for about ten minutes, without adding water or fat. Stir regularly by rotating the pan. The leek should be slightly crunchy. Let it rest off the heat. Cut an apple into cubes and place them in the pan with chopped mint leaves, a little fleur de sel and olive oil. Mix and arrange on plates.

Roasted cauliflower like Sunday chicken

Clean a white or green cauliflower (medium size). Blanch for about fifteen minutes in boiling water. Remove from the pan, drizzle with olive oil and place in a preheated oven at 200°C for around 40 minutes, checking regularly. The pulp should be slightly marked, without burning. Remove from the oven, let it rest for a few moments. Drizzle again with olive oil, salt, pepper and season with a dash of cider vinegar. Present whole to the table and cut according to the number of guests.


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