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 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.
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.
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)
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
- 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
- Preheat a large grill pan over high heat.
- Place vinegar, mustard, shallot, honey, 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt and 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon pepper in medium-size bowl and whisk well to blend.
- Whisk in olive oil in a slow, steady stream, then whisk in vegetable oil.
- Whisk in parsley and mint. Set vinaigrette aside; do not refrigerate.
- Brush lamb chops with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place chops on prepared grill and cook to desired degree of doneness, 4 to 5 minutes for medium rare, turning once midway through.
- Let chops rest a few minutes. Place 2 chops on each plate.
- Pass vinaigrette separately.
Normandy French Apple Tart (page 142)
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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 slices with a little Calvados and toss to coat..
- Arrange apple slices on each pastry circle in concentric circles from outside edge of pastry to center.
- Bake 10 minutes
- Dust each tart with 1 1 ⁄ 2 tablespoons powdered sugar and continue baking until apples are tender and gently browned, 10 to 15 minutes.
- Increase heat to broil and broil until apples are caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes; do not burn.
- Drizzle each tart with a little Calvados.
- Serve immediately with dollop of crème fraîche.
Is the Monet’s Palate Cookbook: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden At Giverny
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.
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’s Palate: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny
Authors: Aileen Bordman & Derek Fell
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
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.