Monet’s Palate cookbook review and recipes

Montet's Palate Cookbook

The Monet’s Palate Cookbook by Aileen Bordman and Derek Fell lists recipes that are produced by Claude Monet’s magnificent vegetable gardens located at his home in Giverny, France. Monet was a man who had a passion for fine cuisine made with fresh ingredients. His farm-to-table outlook was way ahead of its time.

He was one of the founders of the Impressionist (along with Renoir, Degas, and other artists ) movement and only when he sold his work to American art collectors was he able to buy his home in Giverny which was originally a farmhouse.  He renovated the interior and exterior of the house and with the help of his family he planted his gardens.  The kitchen was surrounded by blue and white tiles, had a red floor and a large black wood and coal stove.  The dining room, which connected to the kitchen, was decorated in tones of yellow to complement the kitchen colours. In this house, he entertained many artists, art dealers and literary agents.

The Chapters

The Foreword is by Meryl  Streep where she writes about her visit to Monet’s house in Giverny followed by Monet’s Passion for Good Food and Monet Kitchen Garden, which leads into the Recipe chapters: Appetizers, Main Courses, Garden-Inspired Side Dishes, Desserts and Craft Cocktails and Spirits.

The Recipes

Most of the 60 appetizing recipes include stunning colour photos and some of Monet’s magnificent art is dispersed throughout the cookbook. The recipes are well written and easy to follow accompanied by a short anecdote.  The ingredients are written in a list format although the instructions are not.

Sample recipes include Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, Thyme and Chive Spread and Raw Zucchini Salad with Roquefort, Hazelnut and Herbs for Appetizers, Aromatic Mussels with White Wine, Créme  Fraîche and Tomatoes, Roasted Cod with Fresh Corn, Red Pepper, Onion and Caper Salad, Roast Pork with Cherry Sauce and Boeuf Bourguignon with Rosemary Puff Pastry Crust for Mains, Roasted Confetti Vegetables, French Green Beans with Walnut, Parsley and Orange Relish and Red Cabbage, Fennel, and Carrot and Fennel Seed Slaw for Garden-Inspired Side-Dishes, Normandy French Apple Tart, Baked Pears with Brown Sugar, Almonds and Marzipan and Rosemary Butter Sandwich Cookies with Fig Jam for Desserts.

Sample recipes for Craft Cocktails & Spirits include The Poppy, The Giverny, and the Water Lily.


Tested Recipes

Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese, Thyme and Chive Spread (page 70)

A quick and simple recipe to make for an appetizer. It’s a luscious blend of goat cheese, salmon, and herbs. Spread on thinly sliced baguette slices, serve with a glass of white wine and voila!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Parsley and Mint Vinaigrette (page 100)


Grilled Lamb Chops from Monet's Palate Cookbook 

The lamb chops, grilled to perfection, served with the Parsley and Mint Vinaigrette were exquisite.  Once you chop the herbs,  grill the lamb chops to medium rare. Serve them along with the Parsley and Mint Vinaigrette, steamed haricots verts and roasted new potatoes, just as Monet would have eaten them


Grilled Lamb Chops with Parsley and Mint Vinaigrette
The countryside around Giverny is still mostly rural, so sourcing fresh cuts of meat such as lamb chops was never a problem for Monet. In fact, the meadow beyond his water garden was and still is a sheep pasture. Every year, Monet grew a patch of mint in his kitchen garden. Lamb with mint jelly is a classic combination, and in this surprisingly easy yet sophisticated dish we have updated the marriage for modern tastes. Monet would have eaten his lamb with new potatoes and haricots verts or green peas. You could pour a Bordeaux, Monet’s favorite wine, or any other dry red wine.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: French
Serves: 6
  • 1 ⁄ 3 cup (8O ml) malt vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 teaspoon (7 g) honey
  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning chops
  • 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning chops
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing chops
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup (60 ml) canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup (60 ml) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ⁄ 4 cup (60 ml) chopped mint
  • 12 lamb rib chops, about 3 ounces (90 g) each, trimmed
  1. Preheat a large grill pan over high heat.
  2. Place vinegar, mustard, shallot, honey, 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt and 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon pepper in medium-size bowl and whisk well to blend.
  3. Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in vegetable oil.
  4. Whisk in parsley and mint. Set vinaigrette aside; do not refrigerate.
  5. Brush lamb chops with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Place chops on prepared grill and cook to desired degree of doneness, 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare, turning once midway through.
  7. Let chops rest a few minutes. Place 2 chops on each plate.
  8. Pass vinaigrette separately.

Normandy French Apple Tart (page 142)


Normandy French Apple Tart from Monet's Palate Cookbook


 Apple desserts are one of my favourites, so this is why I chose to test this recipe.  I was not disappointed.  Made with puff pastry and caramelized apples with a drizzle of Calvados, this is the perfect dessert to end any meal.


Normandy French Apple Tart
Given the proliferation of apples in Normandy, it is not surprising that some variation of an apple tart is the signature dessert of the region. And, bien sûr, it was also a favorite of Monet and his family. He and his wife, Alice, brought back the recipe for Tarte Tatin, the renowned upside-down caramelized apple tart, from their stays at Hôtel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, about 100 miles south of Paris. Monet painted a seductive version of an apple tart in a famous canvas titled Les Galettes (The Cakes). In the film Monet’s Palate, Chef Maurice Amiot prepares the following simple yet sophisticated recipe. He recommends serving these individual tarts with crème fraîche, but vanilla ice cream or whipped cream would also be superb!
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
  • 4 squares or sheets prepared puff pastry
  • 4 large golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • Calvados or applejack
  • 6 tablespoons (40 g) powdered sugar
  • Crème fraîche
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut each square puff pastry into an 8- to 9-inch (20 cm to 23 cm) circle and set on nonstick baking sheet; discard scraps or reserve for another use. Sprinkle apple Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Cut each square puff pastry into an 8- to 9-inch (20 cm to 23 cm) circle and set on nonstick baking sheet; discard scraps or reserve for another use. Sprinkle apple
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
  3. Cut each square puff pastry into an 8- to 9-inch (20 cm to 23 cm) circle and set on nonstick baking sheet; discard scraps or reserve for another use.
  4. Sprinkle apple slices with a little Calvados and toss to coat..
  5. Arrange apple slices on each pastry circle in concentric circles from outside edge of pastry to center.
  6. Bake 10 minutes
  7. Dust each tart with 1 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and continue baking until apples are tender and gently browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Increase heat to broil and broil until apples are caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes; do not burn.
  9. Drizzle each tart with a little Calvados.
  10. Serve immediately with dollop of crème fraîche.

Is the Monet’s Palate Cookbook: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden At Giverny
bookshelf worthy

While reading through the cookbook, I was transformed to another era where I envisioned myself strolling through Monet’s  gardens admiring their vibrant colours and textures. I always admired Impressionist art, and the Monet’s Palate Cookbook made me appreciate the connection between his art and his gardens.

So, yes it’s absolutely cookbook shelf worthy.   Not only is it a cookbook but also an insight into a great artist’s life.

The Film

Monet’s Palate – A Gastronomic View from the Gardens of Giverny is a wonderful film narrated by Meryl Streep as she guides us on a culinary tour of Monet’s life in Giverny.



Monet Flower Garden


Monet’s Palate: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny
Authors:  Aileen Bordman & Derek Fell
Publisher:  Gibbs Smith
ISBN: 978-1-4236-3997-8
Hardcover, 176 pages

For more information on Monet’s s Palate cookbook, the film, and view samples of his paintings, please visit the Monet’s Palate website.


 Photographs by Steven Rothfeld and recipes from Monet’s Palate The Artist & His Kitchen Garden At Giverny by Aileen Bordman & Derek Fell, reprinted by permission of Gibbs Smith.


Monet’s Palate The Artist and His Kitchen Garden at Giverny was sent to me for review by Gibbs Smith Publisher. The opinions are strictly  my own.  This post contains affiliated links.


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8 Responses to Monet’s Palate cookbook review and recipes

  1. Nicoletta @ sugarlovespices April 17, 2016 at 5:22 pm #
    Never heard about this cookbook but I was really intrigued. Your review is beautifully detailed and explained. I love Monet the Impressionist painter, I know nothing about his garden, so that was sooo interesting! And your rendition of the recipes is stunning!
    • Liliana April 18, 2016 at 5:53 pm #
      I also love Monet the painter and did not know about his passion for his gardens and cuisine until I was sent this stunning cookbook to review. I love the connection between his art and his gardens.
  2. Sean April 18, 2016 at 3:58 am #
    The recipes sound wonderful and the book looks quite lovely, but I have to say that takes on the recipes are absolutely stunning. The lamb in particular is incredible. Kudos.
    • Liliana April 18, 2016 at 5:49 pm #
      It is a lovely book. It was a pleasure reviewing it, although I can't take any credit for the wonderful photos as the were provided by the publisher.
  3. Nadia April 23, 2016 at 8:48 pm #
    I had not yet heard about this book and I am definitely a fan of Monet's work. It seems quite inspiring and I know I would love the apple tart recipe that you tested. I'm also quite curious about the movie. Thanks for sharing!
    • Liliana May 2, 2016 at 6:54 pm #
      I enjoyed watching the movie, which is really a documentary about Monet's gardens and recipes.
  4. Teresa May 19, 2016 at 12:14 am #
    It's an interesting concept for a cookbook and the connection to fresh garden produce makes me even more intrigued. Teresa recently posted...A Loaf of BreadMy Profile
  5. Evelyne CulturEatz June 2, 2016 at 8:17 pm #
    Oh he is my fave impressionist, how cool to have a cookbook around him and Giverny. Both recipes are mouthwatering.

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