I always have fun with the recipes from Around My French Table that I make for French Fridays with Dorie. Dorie Greenspan’s basic recipes are very well tested and work remarkably well, I can especially count on all her baking recipes. I’m usually inspired to play around with the suggested ingredients or techniques in the recipes as I think was Dorie’s intention when she compiled these recipes collected from her years of living in France. Around My French Table has been a culinary playground for me over the past year and a half since I joined the French Fridays with Dorie cooking group. I’ve enjoyed following all the contributors who cook along with the weekly schedule of Dorie’s recipes. This Friday’s recipe caught my eye and once again sparked my imagination. I thought of the endives, apples and grapes caramelized in salted butter flavored with rosemary served in a pasta dish for dinner with either a piece of chicken of a green salad served along side. I was particularly struck by the sweet apple and grape flavors contrasted with the bitter flavor of the endives in this dish as well as the beauty of the caramelized ingredients. I used a sliced Fuji apple which didn’t want to cook as fast as the endives and grapes so I ended up removing everything from the pan except the apple slices which I continued to cook for several minutes longer or until they softened up and turned golden. I cooked about half a pound of pasta in boiling water, drained and tossed it into the hot pan with the apples. Then I added the endives and grapes back into the pan, checked the seasoning and served 2 generous portions, I think enough for dinner! Here is the recipe for Endives, Apples and Grapes from Dorie herself.
Did I use fusilli instead of the linguini called for in this recipe from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan because I wanted to title my post French Fusilli Friday?? Maybe but more likely because I love a thicker corkscrew type of pasta to soak up the rich flavorful sauce I made using Dorie’s recipe for Beggar’s Linguine or Linguine Mendiante for French Fridays with Dorie. The word mendiant means beggar in French but is normally associated with a rich chocolate candy covered with dried fruits and nuts found in chocolate shops all over France. Chocolate, another good reason to get on a plane going to France.
We loved this brown butter sauced pasta made with fusilli cooked al dente with all the dried fruits and nuts. I used dried cranberries instead of the golden raisins because I was thinking that if I made mendiants I would use dried cranberries for the color. Cranberries aside, the dried figs with the orange zest made this dish. I used 14 ounces of fusilli with the amount of butter Dorie calls for in the recipe but I added extra of each one of the dried fruits and nuts. I also used chopped cilantro for the herb that I sprinkled on top and I think mint would be good too. I would love to give the recipe but one of the rules of this online cooking group is not to give the recipe but to refer you to the source of all French Friday recipes, Dorie’s cookbook Around My French Table.