Seasons by the Sea: Recipes 03:14:13

Happiness, From Book to Plate
Salade Tourangelle, from Robert Freson’s “The Taste of France,” is a selection of cooked artichoke hearts, asparagus, and green beans served with raw celery and mushrooms, each with its own separate vinaigrette. Robert Freson

Salade Tourangelle
    This recipe from “The Taste of France” is more of a guideline, and does not give measurements. Each vegetable is prepared separately but served together on the same platter.

Asparagus tips, cooked and sprinkled with a vinaigrette made with walnut oil and white wine vinegar to which you have added salt and pepper, some finely chopped shallots and a little chopped parsley
Cooked artichoke hearts, with a stronger vinaigrette containing mustard, chopped fresh tarragon, chives, chervil, parsley, and salt and pepper
Cooked green beans, seasoned with same vinaigrette as asparagus
Sticks of celery, strings removed and served raw, sprinkled with lemon juice and salt
Raw button mushrooms, sliced finely and sprinkled with lemon juice, then dressed with heavy cream flavored with mustard, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with chopped fresh chervil.

    Serve this salad with toast and fresh walnuts.

Gratin Dauphinois Madame Cartet
    This recipe is from Patricia Wells’s “Bistro Cookbook.”
    Serves four to six.

1 garlic clove
2 lbs. baking potatoes, such as russets, peeled and very thinly sliced.
1 cup (about 3 oz.) freshly grated French or Swiss Gruyere
1 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rub a shallow six-cup porcelain gratin dish with the garlic. Layer half of the potatoes in the dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese and half of the creme fraiche. Sprinkle with salt. Add another layer, using the rest of ingredients. Bake uncovered, until gratin is crisp and gold on top, from 50 to 60 minutes. Serve immediately.

Pan-Fried Onion Dip
    This recipe is originated in Ina Garten’s “The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook.” I add one extra onion and reduce the fat by using Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, reducing the amount of butter and oil, and using a lighter mayonnaise. Serve this with really good potato chips and crudites.
    Makes two cups.

2 large yellow onions
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup good mayonnaise

    Cut the onions in half, then slice into eighth-inch half rounds. You will have about three cups onions.
    Heat butter and oil in large saute pan on medium heat. Add onions, cayenne, salt, and pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 more minutes, until onions are browned and caramelized. Allow to cool.
    Place cream cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise in bowl of electric mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth. Add onions and mix well. Taste for seasonings. Serve at room temperature.