Seasonal Menu for June

P1050375 2

A Menu for June

Roasted Asparagus with Tarragon Mustard Crème Fraîche and Prosciutto
Seared Trout with Pernod Braised Fennel
Strawberries in Caramel Vinegar with Mascarpone Cream

Our time in Europe is finally winding down, at least until next month!

We have shared some beautiful meals with friends from Canada, France, England, Australia the U.S. and Italy. We have enjoyed glasses of rosé wine, shopped for linens and vintage plates and walked for hours and hours.

I am feeling ready to head home tomorrow to see my family and spend time in my Vancouver kitchen to begin tweaking recipes and menus for the upcoming Chateau de Gudanes Art Restoration Workshop that is being run by our friends at Messors. It will be a quick turn around, just 3 weeks in Vancouver, but hopefully there will be enough time to do laundry, repack the kitchen equipment suitcase and then get back on the plane rested and ready for a new adventure.

For this month’s menu Diane and I had our planning session way back in early May and so what I had thought I would find in the Paris markets has changed a bit over these last weeks. I also envisioned a slightly more formal menu with a somewhat fancy dessert and a more substantial main course but after enjoying some rather rich meals during our time in Paris, something lighter and simpler is what we felt like cooking and eating.

We are in a rented apartment in Paris which is relatively well-equipped both in terms of the pots and pans as well as pantry items. However, as were were heading into our last days I wasn’t wanting to be buying special ingredients that would be left behind upon our departure. This menu allowed me to use what we had in the fridge and the cupboards and required no special equipment to make.

The salad of roasted asparagus with tarragon mustard crème fraîche and prosciutto is the epitome of easy, the components can all be prepped ahead of time and then it is just about assembly. The original recipe calls for grilling the asparagus and for a grainy mustard for the crème fraîche but we had no grill so the oven stood in for roasting instead of grilling and there was tarragon mustard in the fridge and so in was used instead. And, as is so often the case, I ended up loving the flavour of the tarragon mustard and this is how I will make this sauce in the future.


For the main course we had trout, fennel and salted butter in the fridge and the remaining ingredients in the pantry. I absolutely love how meltingly tender the fennel becomes after just eight minutes in the pan and the splash of Pernod adds a second layer of anise flavour. This fennel would be great along side a roasted loin of pork or lamb.


And for dessert? Fresh, fragrant, ripe strawberries that are macerated in a caramel that is made with red wine vinegar. This is recipe I learned years ago when I took a cooking class here in Paris and while it sounds a little strange to put vinegar in a sweet dish it really does work here. The few grinds of black pepper really enliven all of the other flavours. The mascarpone cream is optional but we had some in the fridge from the previous day’s cooking class and decided to garnish the berries with it.

Not at all the menu I had planned but somehow perfect for this last week in Paris.

Before I go back to trying to fit all my treasures into my already overweight suitcase Sarolta and I want to say a huge thank-you to all of the people who came out to share in our cooking workshops here. It was a pleasure and a privilege to cook, eat, learn and share with you!

xo J


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