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French seasonal basket - September 2018

En saison: What to put on your plate this monthBecause the French never eat strawberries in winter and even different types of goat’s cheese have seasonality... 

Fruit

Apples, grapes, figs, raspberries, melons, greengages, plums, damsons, pears, blueberries, blackberries, mirabelle plums.

Focus on: figs

There are more than 700 varieties of figs, among which we find the black bourjasotte variety, also called the Violette de Solliès. Cultivated in Solliès-Pont in the Var, it has enjoyed AOC status since 2006. Also cultivated in France is  the golden ball (or dauphine), an older variety of green fig with pink flesh.

Buying tip: When buying figs, the skin must be smooth and supple. A white ‘drop’ that forms at the base of the fruit is a sign of freshness. Keep figs at room temperature or a few days in the vegetable tray of the refrigerator. Freezing, on the other hand, causes them to lose flavour and texture.

Recipe: Mirabelle pie

Ingredients (serves 6):
Shortcrust pastry: 220g flour, 110g butter, 1/2 glass water.
Filling: 900g mirabelles, 1 egg, 3 tablespoons sugar, 15cl whole cream liquid.
Rub the flour and cubed butter together to obtain a granular mixture. Pour in the water, knead the dough quickly and roll it into a ball. Let it rest in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the dish and wash the mirabelles. Cut them in half and remove the stones.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Spread the dough in the buttered mould. Prick the bottom with a fork then arrange the mirabelles tightly on the dough. Bake the pie for 20 minutes.

In a bowl, whip the egg with the sugar then add the cream. Pour this mixture over the pie.

Finally put it back in the oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
Vegetables

Aubergine, tomato, salad, lettuce, lentils, pulses, green beans, artichoke, carrot, courgette, watercress, salsify, sweetcorn, turnip, onion, pepper, fennel, cucumber, squash, cauliflower, chard, potato, pumpkin, spinach, radish, broccoli.

Fish, shellfish and crustaceans

Herring, hake, mussels, red mullet, crab, red gurnard, sea bream, squid, Mediterranean anchovy, whiting, mackerel, sardines, shrimp, periwinkle.

Focus on: Red mullet  

Beautiful red in colour, this fish belongs to the Mullidae family and comes in three types: those fished in deep waters; those fished near rocks, and those fished near Senegal. Trawled and landed on all French coasts, it is considered one of the best fish on the market.

Recipe: grilled red mullet  

Ingredients for 4 people: 8 small red mullets, olive oil, a little fine salt and ground pepper. Ask your fishmonger to remove the gills without gutting or scaling the fish. Immerse them 1 sec in olive oil. Place them on the previously oiled grill. Cook them 3 min on one side, 2 min on the other. Season with salt and pepper and serve with anchovy butter.

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