Our trip to London this weekend (I’ll write about it in another post) started with a visit to the Chelsea restaurant “Tom Aikens” to talk with the man himself,….well, erm….Tom Aikens of course !!

Without going into the details (coming soon in another post), this prompted us all (3 of us bought one in the end) to buy the Tom Aikens “Cooking” cook book….a lovely book, an interesting intro from Tom, nicely organised with a few pertinent comments on certain products all the way through.

Anyway, being back in Paris, being back at school and given that it was Monday I had the morning to myself….so what to do ??? Prepare for my exam on Wednesday, prepare for my cookery class later in the day, go to the gym….or spend a short while in the kitchen trying out some of Tom’s recipies for veg ?

As it happened, there were some artichokes, a butternut squash and 2 parsnips loitering in the fridge which needed to be used up before they started “turning”.

So, after a quick nose around Tom’s book I came up with the following combination….

butternut squash

3 veg and 3 different ways of preparing them….roasted (squash), mash / purée (parsnip) and sautéed / braised (artichoke).

  • Butternut Squash with honey, butter, rosmary, salt, pepper – roasted
  • Parsnip cooked in milk and cream (enough to cover, boil until milk/cream reduced by 2 thirds), mash all together without straining, add thyme, lemon and cumin (depending upon personal taste). Serve with olive oil and balsamic.
  • Poivrade Artichokes (purple, baby artichokes) – peeled, sautéed and then braised for 10 mins in a light chicken stock (avoid cube stock, it’s too “unsubtle” for this…..unfortunately, given the time constraints, I DID use a cube)
  • Overall result ?

    Squash was good, artichoke would have been good (but for the “chemical” stock), parsnip….well, it was curiously “bitter”…even before adding in the cumin, lemon and thyme. I guess that this was an example of good idea, bad product.

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