Recipes from Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook

When summer’s torrid temperatures keep you from the grill, it may be time to pick up a copy of Alain Coumont’s new Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook. The founder of the “slow-fast food” chain has chosen recipes based on the light and organic dishes served at his restaurants. They’re enjoyable not only because they are full-flavored but because most are quick and easy–OK, maybe the lamb broth takes a bit of time, but once you get a spoonful, you’ll know it was worth every second! Coumont includes recipes that blend European bistro flavors with healthful ingredients–a great way to counterbalance the copious racks of ribs and boatloads of burgers summer inevitably brings. The breakfast section of the book is one of my favorites. Coumount finds a way to enhance traditional dishes, whether it’s adding lime and coconut to familiar French toast or making once-prosaic pancakes out of buckwheat and topping them with a thick chestnut purée. There are some dishes, like the chia seed porridge with orange and yogurt, that combine ingredients, textures, and flavors in a way that is both surprising and satisfying–the tartness of the blood orange adds a sour zing to an otherwise mild breakfast, while chia adds a new dimension to the smooth creaminess of the yogurt. But as this is a Le Pain Quotidien cookbook, there’s also the restaurant’s signature special: the tartine, an open-faced sandwich made on sourdough bread and topped with almost any spread, veggie, meat, or combination of all three you can imagine. They are fast to make and are a great option if you’re looking for a light lunch or dinner or want an accompaniment to a soup or salad. Being a curry enthusiast, I knew I had to try the sourdough tartine topped with hummus and curried cauliflower. The cool hummus made the meal in a sans-air-conditioning apartment especially refreshing. I can’t wait to try the others! Recipes to try: -Lamb Broth with Cucumber & Mint Yogurt -Chia Seed Porridge with Orange & Yogurt -Hummus & Curried Cauliflower Tartine

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