We work for you, the property buyer, not the seller - click here for details
French News Online Logo - click to go to home page
Click to subscribe to the free French News Online newsletterwww.french-news-online.com
Eating a la Mode

With Vivienne Bolton
In this section of the French News Online "Lifestyle" Section, craft and food writer Vivienne Bolton shares favourite seasonal recipes based on what's out there now in local markets.


Today's Recipes:


aubergines
Perfect for dips

Dips and Finger Food for Festive Season

Christmas and the New Year are almost upon us and it's party time, so this week I am making plenty of dips and finger food.

When it comes to party food dips are high on my list: pea and mint hummus, butterbean and lemon, roast aubergine and tomato, yoghurt and mint.

The great thing about dips is that you can produce them more or less from the freezer or store cupboard! 

I occasionally use these different dips as spreads on toasted slices of crusty baguette and add a garnish of sprigs of fresh herbs or olives.

Pea and Mint Hummus

Ingredients:

250g shelled fresh peas
20 fresh mint leaves
250g yoghurt or creme fraiche

Method:

Boil the peas in water till done. Cool then place in a blender with 20 fresh mint leaves, salt and pepper and blend. Stir in the yoghurt or creme fraiche and your pea hummus is ready to serve. Goes particularly well with crisp lettuce leaves or carrot sticks.

Butter Bean and Lemon Dip

Ingredients:

250g of butter beans -- haricot blanc in French
Juice and rind of half a lemon
4 sage leaves

Method:

Cook the haricot blanc which need to be soaked over night unless you grab them from a supermarket deepfreeze or a can. Place in a blender with the juice and rind of half a lemon and 4 sage leaves. Blend and add a little fresh water or creme fraiche to thin. Garnish with a little grated lemon rind. Serve on toasts or mini blinis.

Roast Aubergine and Tomato Dip

Ingredients:

2 aubergines
4 tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 small onion olive oil

Method:

Cut the aubergines in half lengthways and rub with oil and roast in the oven at 180C until soft and cooked through. While the aubergines are cooking sauté the garlic and onion in a generous quantity of olive oil. Add the chopped tomatoes (I like to skin the tomatoes). When cooked place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, add about half a teaspoon of fresh oregano leaves. Serve warm.

 

Enjoy!

Vivienne Bolton

Vivienne is a prolific writer, designer and creator of all manner of things. Her latest book From Mother to Daughter, Traditional Housekeeping for the Modern Home is published by Kyle Cathie and available on Amazon. This book is a useful mix of recipes, household hints, memoir and tradition, warm and homely, packed with information taken from a life's experience of mothering and country living.

Vivienne Bolton
Vivienne Bolton

Publications include:
From Mother to Daughter: Traditional housekeeping for the modern home
published by Kyle Cathie and available from Amazon by clicking the link.

The Spirit of Christmas: Traditional Recipes, Crafts and Carols
published by New Holland and available from Amazon by clicking the link

Recipes: Vivienne Bolton
editorial@french-news-online.com

Previous Recipes from Vivienne Bolton
To view previous recipes from Vivienne, click an image below

Other Lifestyle Stories

Moonshine

Alambic distilling... an outlawed science?... a dying art? Full story - click here?
Alambic Still

The Last Waters of Life
Making moonshine is illegal almost everywhere. However in France, if you can find an itinerant distiller, you can still enjoy the fruits of your labour in a spirit-warming form. But for how much longer...?
Full Story - click this link

O'Vineyards

Winemaker, American expatriate Ryan O'Connell of O'Vineyards, writes about his much loved corner of France - Languedoc. Click here for the full story

A Languedoc Domaine
The story of American expatriate Ryan O'Connell and his family, who now own a Languedoc-Rousillion vineyard that is becoming hard not to notice...
Full Story - click this link

The Outsiders

Full story - click here

Domaine Jones
Expat Katie Jones is making a name for herself as a winemaker... and she is just one of a group of Languedoc vineyard owners now known as... The Outsiders
Full Story - click this link

Tree House Break

Full story - click this link

Taking time out from his regular column, our Grumpy Gardener, takes a family break in a tree house and yes he left all the tools of the trade behind him.
Full Story - click this link

A French Obsession?

Whilst not actually invented by the French, chocolate, in all its forms, has long been a national passion... an obsession even...
Full Story - click this link

Grumpy Gardener

To read this months gardening article - click here
The Wellington Boot
- fashion accessory? -

... or essential kit? Mike Alexander, our resident "Grumpy Gardener", contemplates designer gardening chic, whilst adding a bit of colour to the winter garden.
Full Story - click this link

Odile de Changy Lingerie

Odile de Changy Lingerie - full story click here

A new Paris boutique lifts creamy curtains to the line of classically beautiful lingerie by Odile de Changy.
Full Story - click this link

Archived Lifestyle Stories

Couture Café
Jardin de Naris
Santiago de Compostela
Market Day

Previous Recipes by Vivienne Bolton - click the image to view recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
Cherry Clafoutis
Pissaladeria
Walnut and Fig Conserve
Fig Pastries
       
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
Pumpkin + Lemon Risotto
Pumpkin Pie
Watercress Potato Soup
Chestnut and Orange Biscotti
       
click to pop-up the recipe
click to pop-up the recipe
Chantrelle mushrooms, red peppers and shredded chicken - a warm winter salad recipe - click here
Delicious Jerusalem artichoke recipes - click here to view
Mushrooms & Creamy Sauce
Pear Poached or 'Crumbled'
Warm Winter Salad
Jerusalem Artichokes
Violet Creams recipe - to view, click this image
French Black Truffle recipes - to view, click this image
Bouillabaise recipe - to view, click this image
Hot and Sour Fish Soup recipe - to view, click this image
Violet Creams
French Black Truffles
Bouillabaise
Hot and Sour Fish Soup
French Tarragon - Delicious with chicken or mushrooms - perfect with puff pastry - to view recipe, click this image
Fresh eggs - essential for a very different chocolate cake - click here to view recipe
Bresse ckicken potroast - click for rescipe
Lunch: leek and potato soup with oatmeal thins. Tea: fresh scones - click for recipes
French Tarragon
 Fresh Eggs
Bresse Chickens
Leek and Potato Soup
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipes - click here
Lemon Meringue Pie
New Potatoes
Crab Tarts
Asparagus
To view recipes - click here
Vanilla - the perfect partner for chocolate - click here to view recipes
Horseradish... easy to grow... easy to make delicious sauce, to go with.... click here for recipes
Creamy green peppercorn sauce - perfect for tender chicken breasts - click here for the recipe
Strawberries and...
Vanilla and Chocolate
Horseradish Sauce
Green Pepprcorns
To view recipes - click here
To view recipes - click here
To view recipes - click here
To view recipes - click here
Cherry Chocolate Brownies
Chilli Crab
Clam & Scallop Chowder
Tomato & Goats Cheese
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
Girolles with Brown Rice
Haricots Verts
Salmon Fillets
Lavender Shortbread
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
Peach Jam
Peach Chutney
Apricot Upside Down Cake
Gooseberry Custard
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
Roast Chicken and Couscous
Strawberry Sorbet
Apple Muffins +
Coriander and Chicken
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
Pumpkin and Bean Soup
Onion Marmalade
Walnut, Fig, Goats Cheese
Quince Jelly
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
Pumpkin Bowls with Nuts
Pumpkin Muffins
Apple Crumble + Custard
Autumn Casserole
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view recipe - click here
To view a recipe
- click an image -
Christmas Mince
Chorizo and Potato Plate
Gingerbread Men
www.french-news-online.com