Tag Archives: cider vinegar

Local and Seasonal Winter Salad with Endives, Pears and Mountain Cheese

28 Dec

Winter time in Serre-Chevallier…. I am cooking for a nice family of foodies expecting quality food with local and seasonal products….. just what I love!

Of course, they expect meals more sophisticated than Cheese Fondue, Raclette or Tartiflette…. otherwise, they would go to the restaurants rather than hiring a chef.

Let’s be inventive then…. and propose an alternative to the classic apple, walnut and endive salad.

Today, I decided to replace apples with pears and create a nice dressing with fried bacon strips, walnuts, cider vinegar and Dijon mustard to bring lots of flavor to the salad. And as a final touch, rather than a classic Emmenthal or colorful Mimolette shavings, I used a young Tomme de Savoie to bring some more texture to that crunchy salad.

Want to give it a try?

Let’s start then!

4-Endives, Pears and Dressing

Ingredients for 6-8 persons:

  • 6 endives medium size
  • 4 pears, neither too ripe nor too firm
  • a handful of walnuts
  • 150-200g of bacon strips
  • 150g of Mountain Cheese such as a young Tomme de Savoie
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
  • Cider Vinegar
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

2-Pears, Endives, Tomme


If you prepare the salad slightly in advance, have a juiced lemon at hand to pour on top of the sliced endives and pears so that they do not oxidized and become brownish.

Prepare the garnish:

In a frying pan, pour the bacon strips and turn the heat on. When it start to make lots of noise, the bacon starts to get a nice coloration. Give them a good shake or stir them and let them cook longer until they get evenly cooked and crusty.

Gather them on one half of the pan and pour the hazelnut on the other half to roast them slightly on low heat.

Deglaze with Cider Vinegar -about 2-3 tbsp- until it evaporates then turn the heat of and add 1 tbsp of mustard, a little more vinegar and 2-3 tbsp of oil. Stir the whole mix until the bacon and walnuts get evenly coated with the dressing. Let it rest on the side.


Wash the endives and remove the surrounding leaves if they don’t look good. Cut the endives lengthways and remove the center in a shape of a pyramid. Slice them into 1 inch stripes and set aside in a large bowl with lemon juice on top.

Wash the pears and cut them into quarters, remove the center and cut them into thin slices about 2-3mm. Set them aside on top of the endives with lemon juice on top.

At last prepare the cheese. Remove the rind then cut it into thin slices – about the same size as the pears. Keep it at hand.

3-Ingredients Prepares

Once ready to serve, pour the dressing with the walnuts and bacon on top of the endives and pears then spread the cheese on top.

Bring it to the table and toss it.

5-Assemble and Toss

Salade d’Endives, Poires, Noix et Fromage de Montagne

Ingrédients pour 6-8 personnes:

  • 6 endives de taille moyenne
  • 4 poires, ni trop mures, ni trop fermes
  • une poignée de noix
  • 150-200g de lardons
  • 150g de fromage de montagne tel que la Tomme de Savoie
  • 1 cas de Moutarde de Dijon
  • Vinaigre de Cidre
  • Huile végétale
  • Sel et Poivre


Si vous préparez cette salade en avance, préparez un jus de citron pour le verser sur les endives et les poires afin d’éviter que celles-ci ne s’oxydent au contact de l’air et ne brunissent.

Préparez la garniture :

Faites revenir le bacon dans une grande poêle à feu moyen. Quand ils commencent à grésiller, remuez un peu afin de les dorer uniformément. Laissez-les revenir jusqu’à ce qu’ils prennent une belle couleur dorée-brune et soient croustillants.

Poussez-les sur une moitie de la poêle et parsemez l’autre moitié de noix pour les torréfier 2-3 minutes à feu doux.

Déglacez le tout avec 2-3 cas de vinaigre de cidre jusqu’à ce qu’il s’évapore. Hors du feu, ajoutez une généreuse cas de moutarde, un peu plus de vinaigre et 2-3 cas d’huile pour créer la vinaigrette. Mélangez bien pour que les noix et les lardons soient bien enrobés et laissez reposer.

Lavez les endives et débarrassez-les des feuilles abîmées. Coupez-les en deux dans le sens de la longueur et ôtez le cœur en forme de pyramide. Emincez-les en lanières, placez-les dans un grand saladier de 2-3mm et arrosez-les de jus de citron.

Lavez les poires et coupez-les en quartiers. Otez le centre et coupez-les en tranches fines de 2-3mm. Arrosez-les de jus de citron et placez-les au dessus des endives.

Pour le fromage, ôtez la croute et coupez-le en fines lamelles de la taille des poires. Gardez-les a portée de main.

Au moment de servir, versez la garniture-assaisonnement sur les endives et les poires puis parsemez de lamelles de fromage.

Apportez le plat a table et servez après avoir pris le temps de bien fatiguer la salade pour que la garniture imprègne les endives et les poires.


Grilled Tamari Marinated Beef with a Chimichurri Sauce

15 Sep

When I was working at Travers Smith, one of my chef’s signature dish was Peter Gordon’s Beef Pesto. This is an amazing recipe indeed and very easy. Not a last minute one though as you have to marinate the beef up to 1 week!

You can serve that beef with Pesto for example but I tried it with a Chimichurri sauce and it was really great as well.

The Chimichurri sauce is usually served on the side of the grilled beef in Argentina and everybody has its own recipe as we all have our own way to prepare the French Dressing or Mayonnaise in France.

Mine is very straightforward and a little spicy. Have fun and use that recipe as a base for your own Chimichurri.

Ingredients for the Beef Marinade – 6-8 persons:

  • 1 piece of mid beef fillet, about 1,2 kg
  • 500ml of tamari (soy sauce)
  • 250ml of Cider Vinegar
  • 1 red chilli (not too hot)
  • 6 cloves of garlic

1-gordon's beef


Puree all the ingredients of the marinade in a blender and pour on top of the trimmed beef.

Cover with cling film and turn every 12 hours for at least 2 days.

2-gordon's beef 3-gordon's beef 4-gordon's beef 6-gordon's beef

Cut into 6-8 pieces and grill 3-4 minutes on each side or longer if you like your beef medium to well-done.

1-Grilled Beef

Once the beef is cooked, serve the whole piece along with Chimichurri and the side of your choice or thinly slice it and serve it hot or cold with Chimichurri sauce on the side.

Ingredients for the Chimichurri

  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 generous bunch of cilantro
  • 6 tbsp of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 green chilli
  • salt


In a blender, pour all the ingredients and only half of the olive oil.

Process and gradually add the rest of the oil until you reach the consistency you want.

Taste and adjust the seasoning.

You can add lemon or lime juice to adjust the consistency and taste.


  Red Beef and Pesto




Raw Cauliflower Salad: be open-minded and discover a new way to accomodate cauliflower

22 Jul

With such a hot weather, even salads get a bit tricky to prepare as the green leaves quickly fade, tomatoes get soft and release lots of juice, fresh herbs get dark….

Here is a recipe that I learnt from my friend Sybille while I was in London and she was creating raw salad recipes.

What I really like in that recipe is that it brings freshness but also new sensations. We all had raw cauliflower florets to dip in sauces or cooked cauliflower (gratins, mashed, cold with French dressing….) but raw and grated is quite unusual.

From that base of grated cauliflower, you can have thousands of combinations of course. The only advice I’ll give you is to incorporate crunchy ingredients, thinly diced or chopped and a nice lemony dressing with lots of chopped herbs to keep the whole salad crunchy, fresh and appetizing.

Ingredients for a large salad bowl (up to 10 people):

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 shallots
  • toasted nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds…)
  • dried fruits (raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots)
  • fresh herbs (chives, mint, parsley…)

Ingredients for the dressing:

  • 2 limes – zest and juice
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • drops of Tabasco
  • 2 tbsp Cider Vinegar



Wash your cauliflower and roughly separate the heads so that they can get in your food processor easily.

Use the medium grater and grate the whole cauliflower. Keep aside.

Wash all your herbs and get them dry. Chop them finely.

Thinly dice the shallots and raw courgettes – skin on.

If you are using really dry fruits, get them moister: pour them in a pan of hot water for 5 minutes then drain them.

Toast the nuts you have chosen in a hot pan for 2-3 minutes and roughly chop them once they are cool.

Grate the lime zest and get them pressed to use the juice in the dressing.

2-Ingredients 3-Ingredients

For the dressing, whisk together 1/4 cup of olive oil, add the vinegar, salt and pepper, lime juice, Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce and Sumac.

Mix altogether all the ingredients of the salad and pour the dressing on top of it. Mix thoroughly until it gets evenly coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning until you reach the right balance of flavor.

4-Mixing 5-Result

Salade Crue de Chou-Fleur Râpé

Ingrédients pour un grand saladier (au moins 10 personnes):

  • 1 chou-fleur
  • 2 courgettes
  • 2 échalotes
  • 1 poignée de noix torréfiées (noix, pécans, amandes…)
  • 1 poignée de fruits secs (raisins, cranberries, cerises, abricots)
  • 1 poignée d’herbes fraîches (ciboulette, menthe, persil…)

Ingrédients pour l’assaisonnement:

  • 2 citrons vert – zeste et jus
  • 50 ml d’huile d’olive
  • sel et poivre
  • 1 cac de Sumac
  • 1 cas de Worcestershire Sauce
  • quelques gouttes de Tabasco
  • 2 cas de vinaigre de cidre


Lavez tous vos légumes. Séparez le chou-fleur pour qu’il puisse facilement passer à la râpe de votre robot.

Passez-le à la râpe moyenne et réservez-le dans un grand bol à salade.

Emincez les échalotes et coupez les courgettes non pelées en petits dés.

Emincez ou ciselez vos herbes et gardez-les de côté.

Si vos fruits secs sont très secs, plongez-les dans une casserole d’eau chaude pour qu’ils s’attendrissent et émincez-les si ils sont beaucoup plus gros que le reste de vos préparations (abricots notamment).

Torréfiez vos noix 2-3 minutes dans une poêle sans ajouter de matières grasses. Réservez. Concassez-les grossièrement.

Pour l’assaisonnement, émulsifiez l’huile d’olive, le vinaigre, le jus de citron vert, la Worcestershire sauce, le Tabasco, le sumac, le sel et le poivre.

Mixez tous les ingrédients ensemble avec l’assaisonnement pour que celui-ci imprègne l’ensemble de la préparation. Laissez reposer 10-15 minutes et rectifiez l’assaisonnement selon votre goût.

Servez avec de bonnes grillades, du poisson ou de la viande froide pour un pique-nique, un buffet…