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Creamy Asparagus Avocado Soup

 

Creamy Asparagus Avocado Soup | Bijouxs Little Jewels

Simple soups–comfort in a bowl at lunch or dinner, always a little jewel.

SIMPLE SOUPS

The beauty of this soup are the fresh green vegetables blended with avocado into a nourishing bowl of rich, green soup. I have been making simple puréed soups for years. The basic technique is to short cook the vegetables, along with some herbs, add a generous amount of stock and simmer. Once the vegetables are tender allow the soup to cool and puree in the blender. Voila, soup is served.

Creamy Asparagus Avocado Soup |Bijouxs Little Jewels

RECIPE COLLECTION

Here are 5 simple soup recipes from my Recipe Collection Membership, they include Celery & Almond Soup, Spinach & Basil Soup, Spicy Thai Carrot, Potato Leek, and Balthazar Creamy Mushroom Soup. With over 500+ recipes to choose from by joining the Collection Membership it’s a great value to add your everyday cooking. Bijouxs Little Jewels from the Kitchen thanks you.

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Salsa Rosa

Salsa Rosa | Bijouxs Little Jewels

I have adapted a salsa recipe from Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking, 2002, a favorite Little Jewel.

SALSA ROSA

As a native Angeleno I love salsa of any kind. My adaptation of Salsa Rosa is easy, spicy and all things salsa sould be. The original recipe used roasted bell peppers, but I have substituted small tomatoes on the vine and a Serrano chile- so LA.

Salsa Rosa | Bijouxs Little Jewels

SIMPLE SALSA

Salsas can contain many ingredients but this one is simple; tomatoes, Serrano, chili paste and olive oil, easy! It is hot, so begin with a small amount of chile paste and roasted serrano, increase to your taste.

To make a vinaigrette for pasta (shown here) or fish, use 1 cup Salsa Rosa, 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and blend well. Adjust to taste. The pasta is coated with a sheer yet flavor foward sauce; no heavy tomato sauce here. Also mix salsa into butter for chili butter corn in the cob.

Sslsa Rosa | Bijouxs Little Jewels

Salsa Rosa | Bijouxs Little Jewels

 

NAPA STYLE

I miss Chef Chairello’s cooking and his products at Napa Style. Sadly, he passed in 2023, he will be missed but his recipes live on in his cookbooks and Food Network. Cheers.

 

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Raw Asparagus, Walnut, Lemon & Romano Cheese Salad

Raw Asparagus, Walnut, Lemon & Romano Cheese Salad | Bijouxs Little Jewels

Raw salads are high on my list of favorite salads. Here’s my take on a raw asparagus salad that makes the most of Spring.

CHOPPED SALADS

Chopped salads are a classic in the culinary world. Think of the all-time classic the La Scala Chopped Salad. I used to swing by the La Scala Boutique, and grab the famous chopped salad after visiting the design center. Almost any salad can become a chopped salad. I frequently chop my salads for ease of eating. I loved the Raw Asparagus Salad with Breadcrumbs, Walnuts, and Mint from Joseph McFadden, A New Way with Vegetables. Beautiful. Every chef sees different things in every recipe. I saw a chance to turn this into a chopped salad, call me crazy. This salad is anchored by the very small and thin slices of raw asparagus. Toasted walnuts and bread crumbs add some crunch along with fresh mint leaves.

Raw Asparagus, Walnut, Lemon & Romano Cheese Salad | Bijouxs Little Jewels

 

PRESERVED LEMON PASTE

Lemon is the key addition to the salad, as both fresh juice and preserved lemon paste. When combined in the salad along with the olive oil, a bright somewhat acidic dressing is created. It adds the punch to the salad to counter the bread crumbs and walnuts. Start small when adding the lemon paste, it can be quite strong for some. I like to make my own Preserved Lemon Spread using some of my on hand preserved lemons always in the fridge. (see recipe)

Raw Asparagus, Walnut, Lemon & Romano Cheese Salad | Bijouxs Little Jewels

SPRING SALADS

Every chance I get I add another Spring salad to the Collection. Current favorites are Farmer’s Market Sunny Salad, Victory Garden Salad, Yoga Pants Salad, On-Hand Panzanella and my Market Basket Summer Salad for just a few. Please enjoy these and of course the Raw Asparagus, Walnut, Lemon & Romano Cheese Salad  No. 544 from the Membership Collection.

 

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Bijouxs Niçoise Sandwich

Niçoise Sandwich | Bijouxs Little Jewels

The classic French Niçoise salad is reimagined as a sandwich- Bijouxs Niçoise Sandwich, another little jewel from the Recipe Collection.

CLASSIC FRENCH LUNCH

A Niçoise salad usually includes tuna, eggs, potatoes, green beans, which are all perfect for a salad. Reinventing the classic salad into a sandwich included some changes. I wanted the sandwich a lighter version, yet packed with Provençal flavors.

Niçoise Sandwich | Bijouxs Little Jewels

BIJOUXS NIÇOISE SANDWICH

I captured the my favorite elements of the salad and created the sandwich of my dreams. Ripe tomatoes, rich olive tapenade, capers, the ‘of course’ anchovy fillet, and fresh basil all topped with balsamic vinegar & olive oil – très bien.

I like to marinate the tomatoes first using the anchovy fillets and onion in the balsamic vinegar for a few minutes to impart flavor into the tomatoes, and create a lovely sauce to add to the sandwich.

Placing the ingredients on the baguette and rolling up tight in parchment paper. Place a weight on top to press the sandwich so the flavors can absorb for about 30 minutes.

Niçoise Sandwich | Bijouxs Little Jewels

A French lunch is served. Pack along with picnics and beach days. Bijouxs Niçoise Sandwich another Little Jewel from the Recipe Membership Collection.

 

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Apple La Flognarde

Apple La Flognarde | Bijouxs Little Jewels

A simple French dessert made from apples and some pantry basics makes this sweet baked Apple La Flognarde, another Little Jewel from the Kitchen Recipe Collection, perfect for Mother’s Day.

FLAUGNARDE VS CLAFOUTI

I have featured both a clafoutis and flaugnarde recipes previously at Bijouxs, and they provide the basis of this recipe as well. All of these simple French fruit desserts begin with what you will recognize as very thin crepe-like batter, that when baked, surrounds the fruit with a semi-firm custard. Served warm or as a cold dessert, these are French simplicity at its best.

 Apple La Flognarde | Bijouxs Little Jewels

TRADTIONAL APPLE LA FOLGNARDE

Really, Apple La Flognarde is a clafoutis. That is to say that when made with apples this dish is more commonly referred to as a flognarde, the same simple sweet batter is used. The author Colette wrote “The flognarde becomes a huge blister that fills the oven, turning golden, brown, bursting here, swelling there…At the height of its eruptions, remove it, sweeten it with a little powdered sugar and share it while it’s boiling hot.” I love this perfect description of this apple dish.

I peel and chop the apple into large chunks that rise up when baking and create crispy peaks. These peaks create deep nooks for the Crème Anglaise and powdered sugar to sink into, dreamy.

 Apple La Flognarde | Bijouxs Little Jewels

SWEET ENDINGS

 Apple La Flognarde | Bijouxs Little Jewels

 

This simple, crustless eggy custard-based dessert pairs well with a dousing of Crème Anglaise, very easily created by melting vanilla gelato or ice cream. The sweet cream adds a richness to the dessert. Happy Mother’s Day.