Annoucing Salad as a Meal

I have just finished reading the final galleys on my new cookbook, Salad As A Meal, and am happy to tell you that we already have a little flurry of  publicity, well before the launch date of April 5, 2011.  The book has already been mentioned in the current issue of Runner's World, Food & Wine will feature it in their March issue, and Library Journal had this to say in its November 15th edition:

"Multiple Jame Beard Foundation Award winner Wells is here to say (with 150 recipes) that salads taste good, they're good for you, and they don't have to contain lettuce. Given Wells's high profile and the book's useful focus, this can't miss wherever cookbooks are popular. With a 75,000-copy first printing; eight-city tour."

The newest book, or any of my others, would make an ideal Christmas gift for anyone who loves to cook. I will be glad to send autographed book plates for any of my books that you already have or plan to purchase for yourself or as gifts. Send requests, with your address, to


click here


The Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells

The Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells
The Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells

The indispensable guidebook to Paris -- by the incomparable French food authority. Patricia Wells knows exactly where to find the flakiest croisssants, the essential bistros, the most knowledgeable wine merchants, the richest, darkest chocolates, the most sublime cheeses, the earthiest charcuteries, the sturdiest copper pots, the cheeriest cafes, and the crusty loaf that all of Paris adores.

On September 23, 1999 The Food Lover's Guide to Paris, 4th edition, was selected as one of 25 winners world wide in the annual competition sponsored by The International Cookbook Review. Along with winners from Australia, Germany, France, Sweden and Chile, The Food Lover's Guide to Paris, along with Patricia's collected body of works, was singled out as the book offering The Best Promotion of French Cuisine Abroad.

WORKMAN PUBLISHING, New York, 1999 $15.95

More than 50 recipes.

100 photographs.

A French/English food glossary.

1999 Winner International Cookbook Review "Best Promotion of French Cuisine Abroad"


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The Food Lover's Guide to France by Patricia Wells

The Food Lover's Guide to France by Patricia Wells
The Food Lover's Guide to France by Patricia Wells

Taste France as the French do, venturing beyond Paris to savor the gastronomic pleasures of the glorious French countryside. This authoritative guide leads you directly to the source, detailing the best restaurants and cafes, open-air markets and no-frills bistros. Plus 65 regional recipes, gathered from France. s finest cooks. Complete with regional maps, descriptive essays, schedules of markets and festival days, and detailed travel directions. The Food Lover. s Guide to France unlocks the doors to France's legendary larder.

WORKMAN PUBLISHING, New York, 1987 $15.95

Featuring 1,000 entries, over 200 photographs, a French/English glossary with more than 2,000 definitions.


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Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells

Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells
Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells

Bistro is warm, Bistro is family. Bistro is robust soups and rustic salads, wine-scented stews, bubbling gratins, and desserts from a grandmother. s kitchen. Bistro is everyday china and elbows on the table and second helpings. It is best friends over for no particular reason. Bistro is earthy, not fussy, easy, not painstaking. And BISTRO COOKING presents no-nonsense, inexpensive, soul-satisfying cuisine inspired by the neighborhood restaurants of France.


Hardcover $22.95 Trade Paperback $12.95

200 Recipes Inspired by the Small Family Restaurants of France.



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Simply French by Patricia Wells

Simply French by Patricia Wells
Simply French by Patricia Wells

How can a good cook become a great cook? The difference is in the details. Details that take not a moment, not a dollar more. Becoming a good cook means learning principles that will last you a lifetime in the kitchen. With Simply French, you will never cook the same way again. You will simply be a better cook. knowing wen to season, and how. Appreciating the simple process of reducing a sauce. Understanding the principles of roasting. Allowing meats and poultry to rest so they release maximum flavor. The simple art of straining a sauce for a refined, condensed flavor. Joel Robuchon, now retired from the day-to-day restaurant, is considered the best chef in France, perhaps the world. He is a pioneer of cuisine modern, which combines the best of time-honored tradition with modern sensibility.

Color photographs by Steven Rothfeld.


Hard Cover $35.00 - Trade Paperback $20.00

Patricia Wells Presents the Cuisine of Joel Robuchon.



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Patricia Wells' Trattoria Cooking

Patricia Wells' Trattoria Cooking
Patricia Wells' Trattoria Cooking

Whether a bustling eatery in the heart of Florence or a tiny alcove tucked away in a side street in Venice, the trattoria is where Italians go for big flavors, great friendships, good times. Patricia Wells now fuels America. s undying passion for Italian food with more than 150 trattoria recipes -- recipes for honest food, bursting with flavor and prepared with a minimum of fuss.

16 full-color photos of prepared dishes by photographer Steven Rothfeld.

WILLIAM MORROW & CO. New York, 1991 $25


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At Home in Provence by Patricia Wells

At Home in Provence by Patrica Wells
At Home in Provence by Patrica Wells

For the past fifteen years, Patricia Wells has been carrying on a love affair with a region of France, a centuries-old farmhouse, and a cuisine. Provence is uniquely blessed with natural beauty as well as some of the world's most appealing foods and liveliest wines. Wells's culinary skills have transformed the signature ingredients of this quintessential Fre nch countryside into recipes so satisfying and so exciting that they will instantly become part of your daily repertoire. Here are over 175 recipes from Wells's farmhouse kitchen, including whole chapters on salads, vegetables, pasta, and bread.

"There is hardly a recipe in this cookbook that does not insist on being tried and served to family and friends."

-Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

"...promises to produce yet another generation of home-schooled experts in pistous and daubes."

-Gilian Duffy, New York Magazine

"The photos alone will transport you, but the recipes will make you sign up for her cooking school in France."

-Patty Lanoue Stearns, Detroit Free Press

Illustrated with famed photographer Robert Freson's captivating pictures.

SIMON & SCHUSTER, New York 1999 Paperback edition $23.00

SCRIBNER, a division of SIMON & SCHUSTER, New York, 1996, Hardcover edition $40


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Winner James Beard Foundation/Kitchenaid Book Award

Reader Reviews of 'The Provence Cookbook' by Patricia Wells

The Provence Cookbook was featured on (by Harper Collins) in January. Advance galleys of The Provence Cookbook were mailed to individuals who volunteered to read and review the book. The following reader reviews were provided by Harper Collins.

(Middleburg Hts., OH)
Magnificent!! Ms. Wells has outdone herself with The Provence Cookbook! The recipes and details are wonderful, I made the Roasted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce, Salmon has never tasted better. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

(South Bend, IN)
Whoever thought that a cookbook could be a fun and interesting read?? I really enjoyed The Provence Cookbook and am looking forward to preparing the delicious meals in it! I loved learning more about Provence from a culinary expert's point of view. Patricia Wells not only has an eye for food, but also, what makes food so special. She gives you all kinds of background information on each recipe, so you have a greater understanding of why each recipe is so special. I felt this information helps you to create a perfect Provence meal. She includes which wines go better with each flavorful recipe and where they may be purchased. One of the main things that attracted me to this book is because all of her recipes are very easy to follow and are within a normal budget. I'm dying to prepare her aromatic Summer Herb Bread and her Salad of Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, and Basil, drizzled with lemon juice & oil. She also gives you addresses so you know where you can purchase the best flavored Olive Oil, wines, or whatever is needed to prepare a perfect recipe. I truly enjoyed this book. I'm going to purchase all of her cookbooks, because she makes a culinary bouquet of flavors that will tempt everyone's distinctive palate.

(Lenexa, KS)
The Provence Cookbook has easy to follow recipes and the menus in the back are helpful in planning a full meal or dinner party. I like the sidebars that provide additional tips and information to recreate the feeling of Provence. The recipes my husband and I tried were delicious and will make it on the "make-it-again" list. This cookbook makes it easy to make the French Provencal dining experience come alive in your kitchen.

Laurie (Dallas, TX) Just finished reading this cookbook and I can't decide whether to go to the grocery store or call the travel agent. The account of truffle poachers and the mouth watering description of this morel make this book worth buying. The recipes, simple but elegant, make it a keeper.

(Owensboro, KY)
I've never traveled to Provence, but after reading through Wells' cookbook, I feel like I have been there, tasted the food, smelled the air, and met the people. Her "cookbook" is so much is really a guidebook to Provence. This cookbook made me nostalgic for a place I've never been. The recipes were a combination of elegance and simplicity. Some would be quick and easy to make for a simple family dinner; others would take more preparation time and be the main event of a fancy dinner party. I really enjoyed reading the recipes, remembrances and observations. The beautiful photos scattered generously throughout the book were food to my eyes. Thanks for the opportunity to read and review a different kind of book!

(Potomac, MD)
Brings the flavors, aromas, and foods of a magical region to your home. Easily reproduced recipes and charming anecdotes provide a vacation in a book! A must for anyone who has been to or yearns to visit Provence.

(Auburn,, NY)
I enjoyed very much reading "The Provence Cookbook " It was like revisiting some familiar places with my parents and enjoying a delicious leisurely lunch in a quiet village. The bonus was trying some of the recipes. They are easy to follow, and the ingredients easy to find here. A wonderful way to spend a delightful afternoon on an otherwise dreary Central New York day. I would recommend it to gourmet cooks and travel enthusiasts alike.

(Roanoke, VA)
Patricia Wells carries her readers along on a journey of tastes and visual sensations. You become her guest at a party; you are living Provence!

(San Anselmo, CA)
Patricia Wells' new book, The Provence Cookbook, is a delightful trip through her own personal Provence. It is a beautiful book with unique photographs of the foods, people, and markets of the region. I especially enjoyed Patricia's own recipes which always included a charming story about what the recipe meant to her. Patricia's writing is so vivid it makes one feel they are right there with her inhaling the aromas of fish, freshly baked bread and olives at her local market. The Provence Cookbook will appeal to Francophiles, cooks and lovers of good food, wine and travel. It's a great gift book too. If you can't take that trip to France this year this is the next best thing!

(Round Rock, TX)
If you are ready for a feast of the senses, Patricia Wells treats you to a banquet in “The Provence Cookbook.” Along with 175 recipes, Wells takes her reader on a personal gastronomical tour of Provence. The book reads more like a journal as the author strings each recipe together with her favorite memory about, a restaurant, a person or a tradition, and ends up creating a unique bouquet of Provence. As you turn the pages of this book you might find yourself transported to a village butcher shop in Provence with a rotisserie slowly turning the load of plump farm chickens into a golden brown or at the village markets with an endless variety of olives and cheeses. You meet people like the olive vendors of Vaison la Romaine and Ludovic Cornillon the wine maker and before you know it you are in a different world experiencing the rich aromas, sounds, flavors, and hues of Provence. Each recipe starts with a little history followed by brisk and easy to follow directions. The ingredients and equipment are organized to the left hand corner of each page which makes for more interesting reading. After studying Well’s book, you might feel more confident about ordering from an all-French menu the next time you dine at a French restaurant because each recipe is simultaneous named in English and French. Unlike traditional cookbooks where color photos are the life blood, The Provence Cookbook’s black and white photos, which are not about the recipe but about the ingredients or influences that created the recipe, serves to enhance the tone of the book. In case you are tempted to curl up with the book and take an armchair tour through the pastoral region of France, Well’s gently nudges you to bring a bit of Provence into your own kitchen and to create your own memories of the ingredients and the people you might share these dishes with.

(Canal Winchester, OH)
This book is full of tasty recipes, local lore and recommendations for shopping and eating that make me want to be in Provence. Through this cookbook, I can at least bring a little bit of France into my kitchen through a variety of wonderful recipes. I can't wait until this summer to try them with fresh ingredients.

(Mequon, WI)
This delightful culinary adventure into the heart of Provence captures the essence of the region through mouthwatering recipes and stunning photographs. The colorful recipe introductions set the scene for each inspiring combination of ingredients, and helps the reader feel the love and warmth that goes into creating each dish. The wine suggestions, restaurant information, and fascinating profiles add a unique touch of elegance and charm to this French masterpiece of food.

The Paris Cookbook Reviews


December 2, 2001

By Corby Kummer


Those given to breaking into sniffly choruses of ''The Last Time I Saw Paris'' can reach for THE PARIS COOKBOOK (HarperCollins, $30) along with a mouchoir. In this culinary postcard, Patricia Wells, long the voice of France for American home cooks, gives her usual ultraprofessional mixture of dernier-cri bistro and haute cuisine dishes, with briskly evocative descriptions of neighborhood shops and markets.


In the beginning: In an ideal world it would be caviar, but why upset your wallet when there are cheaper, equally delicious, ways to kick off Christmas

By Nigel Slater

....Patricia Wells's black olive tapenade

When you browse through my collection of cook books it is easy to spot the ones I cook from. Patricia Wells's first cookery book, Bistro (Kyle Cathie), is well-worn and grease-smudged. I think there is even a page or two stuck together. Her new book, The Paris Cookbook (pounds 19.99, Kyle Cathie), looks set to join it, and despite its ingredient lists being in unreadably small print, I have managed to master this stunning tapenade. Serve it with

fingers of hot, thin toast. Makes 325ml.

10 anchovy fillets

2 tbsps milk

300g French brine-cured black olives, pitted

1 tbsp capers, drained

1 tsp French Dijon mustard

1 plump, fresh clove of garlic, peeled and finely


1/4 tsp fresh thyme, leaves only

6 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

In a small, shallow bowl, combine the anchovies and milk. Set aside for 15 minutes to rid the anchovies of their salt and to soften and plump them. Drain and set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the drained anchovies, olives, capers, mustard, garlic and thyme. Process to form a thick paste. With the food processor still running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until it is

thoroughly incorporated into the mixture. Season with black pepper.


Paris on your plate

By Patricia Unterman

Special to The Examiner

Patricia Wells changed the lives of culinary travelers when she published her groundbreaking "Food Lover's Guide to Paris" in 1984. Finally we had detailed information, in English, that got us to the places that discriminating Parisians (aren't they all?) actually frequented -- not just the bistros and restaurants, but cafés, bakeries, cheese shops, wine bars, tea salons, indoor and outdoor markets. Neighbhorhoods opened up their once-hidden treasures. With Wells' guide in hand, we walked from one arrondissement to the next, eating ourselves silly. As Walter Wells, Pat Wells' teddy bear of a husband and former editor of the International Herald Tribune, said at dim sum lunch the other day, " 'The Food Lover's Guide' was the book that cracked the code."

Patricia Wells, her husband, her photographer, Yank Sing owner Henry Chan and I were all eating dumplings as if there were no tomorrow. Maybe Wells was happy to get a reprieve from Parisian cooking, the subject of her latest book, "The Paris Cookbook" (HarperCollins, 2001, $30).

But what I believe is that she's an eater, an enjoyer, someone who gets enormous pleasure from being at the table. Put something well made (as long as it isn't dessert) in front of Wells, whether it be Japanese kaiseki, Shanghai dumplings or choucroute garni, and she digs in appreciatively. There is absolutely no distance between her and her subject. Sound, trustworthy opinion -- based on decades of critical eating and a God-given palate -- is her métier and exactly why you want to buy her books.

If Wells says something is good -- a recipe, a restaurant, a wine, a product -- you can believe her. More than that, she makes you excited about her discoveries. Her descriptions are sensuous yet finely honed. And when Wells writes about Parisian cooking, a subject she knows intimately from having covered it for over two decades, and from turning herself into a skilled home cook herself (she cooked with some of the greats like Joel Robuchon), she takes you way inside the culinary culture. Herein lies the beauty -- and some off the frustration -- of "The Paris Cookbook." Though she successfully adapted recipes from her favorite Parisian restaurant kitchens to the American home kitchen, many of the simplest and most appealing recipes depend on a quality-level of ingredient that is hard to find. (We have beautiful ingredients that cannot be found in Paris, but this cookbook is not about these.)

The meal I cooked from "The Paris Cookbook" could best be described as, well, Parisian. Fat is often celebrated and technique makes the dish. (I think the French stay slim because they eat basically the Atkins diet -- high fat and protein, low carbs -- with lots of red wine to keep the arteries clear.) For an experienced home cook in the Bay Area, the recipes break no new ground, but their French point of view makes them fresh.

I used raw chanterelles that a friend had collected for the green bean, mushroom and hazelnut salad, but I had a hard time finding really fresh hazelnuts. You must use free-range, generously fatted pork loin, not tasteless, unnaturally lean factory-raised pork for Four-Hour Roast Pork. (Next time I'd do the same recipe with a fat-laced piece of pork butt or shoulder for greater moisture.) After the long, slow braise you can eat the meat with a spoon. (It made sublime tacos the next day.)

Alain Passard's Turnip Gratin goes wonderfully with the pork. (But you need two ovens. I tried cooking the gratin long and slow along with the pork, and the turnips never became tender.) As for dessert, wait until our winter Chandler strawberries come in from Santa Maria in February and make the Strawberry-Orange Soup with blood-orange juice. It was a gorgeous and refreshing dish after rich salad, clams (see below), pork and turnips.

Not every recipe translates. For example, you need thick, resonant, tangy French cream, not our monochromatic stuff, to make The Bistrot du DÙme's Clams with Fresh Thyme really fly. This recipe calls for two pounds of rinsed clams in a skillet with 3/4 cup of cream and a teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves. Cover and cook over high heat for 2 or 3 minutes until the clams open. It worked but I didn't think the dish had enough complexity.

It did, however, take on a new demeanor with wine. Though I couldn't get my hands on the "lovely dry Vouvray from the house of Huet" that she drinks with this dish at the Bistro du Du DÙme, I did serve an old Mark West Riesling I happened to have, and the transformation was astounding. The wine completed the dish and the dish expanded the wine, a phenomenon that Walter Wells, a wine appreciator, describes as "2 plus 2 equals 5." If you want to understand all the brouhaha about wine-and-food pairing, follow Wells' recommendations in "The Paris Cookbook." The French invented the alchemy. The right wines really become a key ingredient in French cooking and no one covers this better than Patricia Wells in cookbooks and reviews.

(By the way, The Bistro du Dôme, the source of the clam recipe, is one of my Parisian favorites. I go for aperitif-hour oysters on the half shell at the glassed-in café in front of the mother ship, Le Dôme, on the rue Montparnasse, and then walk across rue Delambre to Le Dôme's affordable and sweet little bistro for grilled sardines and divinely crisp and buttery sole meunière. The fish and shellfish at both places are impeccable, as you can see for yourself at the handsomely tiled fish market that adjoins Le Dôme on the rue Delambre side.)

What excites me about Wells' book is how it evokes place. The recipe/restaurant format presents a way for her to update her brilliant "Food Lover's Guide" without taking on the almost insurmountable task of revisiting and checking all the old places and adding the new. No publisher these days is willing to support an updated guide of this scope, and Wells has had to come up with new ways of packaging the material that she knows best.

"The Paris Cookbook" draws on all her vocations -- as a restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune, as an ardent food shopper in Paris and Provence where she has a second home, and as recipe writer and cooking teacher. If you never end up cooking from it, you can fruitfully use it as a guide to Wells' current favorite restaurants. Without actually writing about the restaurants you learn a great deal about them from the recipes and the contextual notes. Also laced throughout are tips about Parisian food shops and markets where Wells has found certain ingredients that have inspired recipes. Wells told me that she is working on a Provence cookbook that will be even more like a food-lovers' guide than "The Paris Cookbook."

Even if she is not contemplating a new edition of her "Food Lover's Guide to Paris," she still keeps you abreast of the best on her Web page -- -- which apprises fans of her cooking classes in Paris and Provence, reprints restaurant reviews from the Herald Trib, and lists current Wells-approved restaurants in Paris.

What ties together "The Paris Cookbook" and every other piece of Wells' output is her eye for authenticity. She doesn't care for the trendy, international-style restaurants that have sprung up in Paris during the past decade. She supports the local, the small, the artistic. Whether we get information through cookbook, guide, Web page or newspaper column, it really doesn't matter. What we want to know are Patricia Wells' opinions and inside tips about the food and wine of France, however she lets us in on them.


Gallopin's Green Bean, Mushroom and Hazelnut Salad

(Le Salade de Haricots Verts, Champignons et Noisettes de Gallopin, from Gallopin)

2 servings as a main course; 4 servings as a first course

I last sampled this classic bistro salad at the colorful Gallopin, just across the street from the Paris bourse, or stock market. This is the sort of dish that depends upon freshness and care all around. It's hearty enough to serve as an entire luncheon meal, or as a first course as part of a major bistro feast.

4 tablespoons fine sea salt

8 ounces green beans, rinsed and trimmed at both ends

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, thinly sliced

1 small shallot, peeled and finely minced

About 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives

3 tablespoons freshly toasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped (see Note)

Hazelnut Vinaigrette

1 tablespoon best-quality sherry wine vinegar (or best-quality red wine vinegar)

Fine sea salt to taste

3 to 4 tablespoons best-quality hazelnut oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)


A large pasta pot fitted with a colander

1. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

2. Fill a large pasta pot, fitted with a colander, with 3 quarts water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the 4 tablespoons salt and the beans, and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. (The cooking time will vary according to the size and tenderness of the beans.) Immediately remove the colander from the water, allow the water to drain from the beans, and plunge the colander into the ice water so the beans cool down as quickly as possible. As soon as the beans are cool (no more than 1 to 2 minutes, or they will become soggy and begin to lose flavor), drain them and wrap them in a thick towel to dry. (The beans can be cooked up to 4 hours in advance. Keep them wrapped in the towel, refrigerated if desired.)

3. In a large bowl, combine the green beans, mushrooms, shallot, chives and toasted hazelnuts. Set aside.

4. Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and sea salt. Whisk to blend. Add the oil, whisking to blend. Taste for seasoning.

5. At serving time, pour the vinaigrette over the salad. Toss gently to blend, and serve.

Note: Toasting nuts imparts a deep, rich flavor: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until fragrant and evenly browned, about 10 minutes.

Alain Passard's Turnip Gratin

(Gratin de Navets Alain Passard, from ArpËge)

4 to 6 servings

Each Saturday morning in Le Figaro, chef Alain Passard offers an incredible assortment of recipe ideas revolving around a particular ingredient. One day in February the subject was Cantal, the rich golden cheese of the Aubergne mountains. He suggested this preparation, which I promptly followed. This vegetable gratin is delicious on its own with a tossed green salad, or as a vegetable accompaniment to a roast chicken, roast pork or veal.

1 1/2 pounds round spring turnips, peeled and cut into thin rounds

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces cow's-milk cheese, such as Cantal or Cheddar, coarsely grated

1 1/2 cups whole milk

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves


A 2-quart gratin dish

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish, and in it layer half the turnips. Season well with sea salt and black pepper, and then layer half the cheese. Season that layer. Repeat with the remaining turnips and the remaining cheese, seasoning well after each layer. Add milk just to cover. Sprinkle with the thyme and more sea salt and pepper. Place the dish in the center of the oven and bake until the turnips are soft and have absorbed most of the milk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Serve immediately.

FrÈdÈric Anton's Four-Hour Roast Pork

(Le Roti de Porc de Quatre Heures de Frederic Anton, from Le Pre Catelan)

8 to 10 servings

Over the past several years, braised meats have become increasingly popular among Parisian chefs: Rare lamb, rosy pork, duck with a touch of pink all have their place, but the homey, wholesome flavors of meat and poultry cooked until meltingly tender and falling off the bone are once again in vogue. Here FrÈdÈric Anton, chef at the romantic restaurant PrÈ Catalan in the Bois de Boulogne, offers universally appealing roasted pork loin, flavored simply with thyme. This is delicious accompanied by sautÈed mushrooms or a potato gratin.

One 4-pound pork loin roast, bone in (do not trim off fat)

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground white pepper to taste

2 teaspoons fresh or dried thyme leaves

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

6 plump, fresh cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

2 cups homemade chicken stock

2 large bunches of fresh thyme sprigs


A large heavy casserole with a lid, or Dutch oven

1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F.

2. Season the pork all over with sea salt, white pepper and the 2 teaspoons thyme. In a large heavy-duty casserole that will hold lthe pork snugly, heat the oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the pork and sear well on all sides, about 10 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a platter and discard the fat in the casserole. Wipe the casserole clean with paper towels. Return the pork to the casserole, bone side down. Set it aside.

3. In a large, heavy skillet, combine the butter, carrots, onions, garlic, celery and sea salt to taste. Sweat -- cook, covered, over low heat without coloring -- until the vegetables are soft and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Spoon the vegetables around and on top of the pork. Add the chicken stock to the casserole. Add the bunches of thyme, and cover.

4. Place the casserole in the center of the oven and braise, basting every 30 minutes, for about 4 hours, or until the pork is just about falling off the bone. Remove the casserole from the oven. Carefully transfer the meat to a carving board and season it generously with sea salt and white pepper. Cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest for about 15 minutes.

5. While the pork is resting, strain the cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve into a gravy boat, pouring off the fat that rises to the top. Discard the vegetables and herbs.

6. The pork will be very soft and falling off the bone, so you may not actually be able to slice it. Rather, use a fork and spoon to tear the meat into serving pieces, and place them on warmed dinner plates or a warmed platter. Spoon the juices over the meat, and serve. Transfet any remaining juices to a gravy boat and pass at the table.

Strawberry-Orange Soup With Candied Lemon Zest

(Soupe de Fraises à l'Orange au Zeste de Citron Confit)

6 servings

All it takes is an intelligent combination of fresh ingredients to create a dish with a sophisticated and pleasing dimension: The sweet, fruity flavor of strawberries reaches another realm, enlivened by a touch of vinegar, sweetened with the intensity of freshly squeezed orange juice, and brought to a crescendo topped with a touch of zesty, candied lemon peel. There are just a few days in March when blood oranges are still in the market and the first strawberries of the season make their debut: That's when this dessert is at its peak. The rest of the year, make this dish with the best juice oranges you can find.

1 pound fresh strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and quartered lengthwise (or into sixths if very large)

1 tablespoon best-quality red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar

4 tablespoons sugar

The Candied Lemon Zest

Zest of 1 scrubbed lemon, cut into fine slivers

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/4 cups freshly squeezed blood orange juice (about 5 oranges) or juice of top-quality juice oranges

1. In a large bowl, combine the strawberries, vinegar and sugar. Stir gently. Cover securely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, prepare the cnadied lemon zest: Place the zest in a medium-size saucepan, add 1 cup cold water, and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Remove from the heat and drain the zest in a small fine-mesh sieve. Rinse with cold water, and drain.

3. In a small saucepan, combine the blanched lemon zest, the sugar and 1/4 cup water. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to a simmer over very low heat and cook until the zest is transparent and just a thin veil of syrup remains, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the zest cool in the liquid.

4. At serving time, add the orange jiuce to the strawberry mixture. Mix gently. Pour the strawberry soup into shallow individual bowls or flat-bottomed champagne glasses, known as coupes. Garnish with the candied lemon zest, and serve.


Paris Cookbook Reviewed: All Things Considered, host Linda Wertheimer talks to Patricia Wells about her new Paris Cookbook, November 2001 click to view


Patricia Wells delivers true taste of Paris

December 5, 2001

By SHARON HUDGINS / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

When an American in Paris writes about French food – and the French flock to buy her cookbook – then you can be sure she knows her stuff.

Patricia Wells was recently in Dallas to promote The Paris Cookbook (HarperCollins, $30), her latest work about the foods of France.

Published simultaneously in American, British, and French editions, this user-friendly cookbook is already selling briskly on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ms. Wells first moved from New York to France in 1980 with her husband, a journalist for the Paris-based International Herald Tribune. They planned to work in France for only two years, but they were so seduced by France that they decided to stay.

Today, they divide their time between Paris (where Ms. Wells is also the restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune) and their 18th-century farmhouse in Provence.

Since the mid-1980s, Ms. Wells has written six other books about food, five of them focusing on France.

The Paris Cookbook is the culmination of two decades of her cooking and eating in that city. She has scouted out the best neighborhood food markets in Paris, watched master chefs at work, savored the French version of comfort foods in local bistros, and collected recipes from French cooks, amateurs, and professionals.

"What I try to do in my book is show how people are eating in Paris today," says Ms. Wells, who also includes "a lot of dishes that are my favorite things to cook, too."

The result is a very personal compendium of 150 recipes, ranging from classics such as French Onion Soup and Tarte Tatin to contemporary fare such as Slow-Roasted Salmon With Sorrel Sauce and Tante Louise's Caramelized Cauliflower Soup With Foie Gras.

All the recipes are written in Ms. Wells' simple, straightforward style. Many American cooks might be surprised at how easily these French dishes can be made in American home kitchens. Yet they still capture the authentic flavor of French food.

Ms. Wells' enthusiasm for French food permeates The Paris Cookbook. Each recipe is introduced by an anecdote about where she first ate that particular dish, or how she got the recipe, or why she likes to serve it for guests at home.

Sidebars extol the virtues of goose fat, explain what confit (a food-preservation method) and onglet (flank steak) are, provide tips on cooking techniques, and suggest affordable wines to accompany many of the foods she so lovingly describes.

Ms. Wells says that at her own home in Paris she likes to make Clams in Vinaigrette, traditional Alsatian Choucroute [sauerkraut garnished with smoked pork and sausages], Flora's Polenta Fries, and The Apple Lady's Apple Cake, as well as "all the chicken recipes" in the book.

For a winter holiday menu, she suggests Parisian Roasted Turkey (with sausage stuffing), Carrots With Cumin and Orange, and "any of the chocolate or apple recipes for dessert," including La Maison du Chocolat's Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse.

Sharon Hudgins is a McKinney free-lance writer.

Lemon Chicken

1 chicken (about 5 pounds)

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 lemons, preferably organic, scrubbed, dried, and quartered lengthwise

Several sprigs fresh thyme

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Generously season the cavity of the chicken with sea salt and black pepper. Place the giblets, lemon quarters, and thyme inside. Truss. Rub the skin with the butter. Season all over with sea salt and black pepper.

Place the chicken on its side on a rack in a roasting pan. Place in the center of the oven and roast, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Turn the chicken to the other side and roast for 20 minutes more. Turn the chicken breast-side up and roast for 20 minutes more, for a total of 1 hour roasting time. By this time the skin should be a deep golden color.

Reduce the heat to 375 F. Turn the chicken breast-side down, at an angle if at all possible, so its head end is down and its tail end is in the air. This heightens the flavor by allowing the juices to flow down through the breast meat. Roast until the juices run clear when you pierce a thigh with a skewer, about 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and season the chicken generously with sea salt and black pepper. Transfer the chicken to a platter and place it on an angle against the edge of an overturned plate, with its head down and tail in the air. Cover loosely with foil. Turn off the oven and place the platter in the oven with the door open. Let the chicken rest for a minimum of 10 minutes and up to 30 minutes. It will continue to cook during this resting time.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Place the roasting pan over moderate heat and cook, scraping up any bits that cling to the bottom and stirring until the liquid is almost caramelized, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not let it burn. Spoon off and discard any fat. Add several tablespoons of cold water to deglaze the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.

While the sauce is cooking, remove the lemons from the cavity of the chicken. Carve the chicken into serving pieces and transfer them to a warmed platter. Squeeze the lemons all over the chicken pieces, extracting as much juice as possible. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and pour it into a sauceboat. Serve immediately. Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Cookbook Author to Share a True Taste of Paris

November 21, 2001

By Annie Reilly

From its passionate history to its luscious vineyards, France is adiverse and beautiful country. So says journalist Patricia Wells, who lives there. She meant to stay in Paris for only two years. But two turned into four and four into eight, and so on. Now, 21 years and several books later, Wells still is living and writing in France. She'll visit Greensboro on Nov. 29 to share a taste of Paris through recipes from her new book, "The Paris Cookbook."

"Something was always happening next week or next year," she says of her extended stay in France. "I wasn't getting to the end of learning something. There wasn't any reason to leave."

Before going to Paris in 1980, Wells was a food reporter for The New York Times. She took off from America to get what she called her "Ph.D. in food" by exploring French restaurants, pastry shops and food markets. She found no

truth to the stereotypes about secretive chefs and rude Parisians.

"The chefs are always flattered when they're asked to contribute," she says.

"The Paris Cookbook" follows seven other cookbooks by Wells, including best-sellers, "The Food Lover's Guide to Paris," "The Food Lover's Guide to France," "Bistro Cooking" and "Patricia Wells at Home in Provence."

Wells, who helped the Green Valley Grill develop a French menu being featured through Dec. 4, will dine and sign books at a Parisian dinner there on Nov. 29.

Wells says she likes the variety and seasons of food in France, something she says is lacking in the United States. "Every month there is a new product out and, along with it, an enthusiasm and newness about it," she says.

"We're fortunate that food is something that gives us so much pleasure -three times a day - or more," Wells said.

Because she is a journalist, "The Paris Cookbook" is set apart from other French cookbooks by what Wells calls the "reporting aspect" of the work. "Each recipe has a story and a history behind it. You get my point of view as

well as others," she said.

Wells now works for the International Herald Tribune. She and her husband divide their time between their home in Paris and their restored farmhouse in Provence, in the south of France. The Wall Street Journal describes her as

"a genuine phenomenon," and she has been ranked next to Julia Child and James Beard by culinary experts.

She has studied food extensively in Provence.

"That is the center of where everything is growing," she said. "Things like apricots are so much better. The freshness makes you want to work with that product."

For two years, Wells traveled between France and Italy, studying Italian food. She said Italian food is similar to French bistro cooking. Wells, whose mother is Italian, says the climate in Provence is more like Italy's. The

food in Provence is more tomato-based than in Paris, and there are a lot of fresh fruits.

Wells says she enjoys French culture because of the set rules and traditions by which the French live. "In America, we have too much of a laissez-faire attitude," she says.

In Wells' book, she gives her readers insight to the French countryside that tourists would normally miss. When she describes the Chicken Fricassee With Two Vinegars, for example, Wells details the life of a pampered local chicken.

Some of Wells' personal favorites in the book include the chocolate mousse recipe, the Apple Ladies Apple Cake and the chicken recipes. She also includes wine suggestions for certain dishes.

Wells seems to find inspiration everywhere she turns. "I feel," she says, "like I am bathed in beauty every day."


A Foodie's Dream Life

November 19, 2001

By Susan Houston

As Paris restaurant critic for the International Herald Tribune, Patricia Wells has the job any foodie would die for. When she's not dining at some of the world's finest eateries, she's leading wine tours or teaching cooking classes at her 18th-century farmhouse in northern Provence. Along the way, she has managed to write several books, including "At Home in Provence," winner of the 1997 James Beard Award for Best European Cookbook, and "The Food Lover's Guide to Paris," considered the bible of dining in that city.

Not bad for a self-professed "cheesehead" who grew up in Wisconsin.

Back then, Wells says she couldn't have picked out France on a map. And even though she loved food, writing about the topic wasn't yet considered "what the French would call a profession noble."

So Wells got her master's degree in art criticism at the University of Wisconsin and reviewed art for The Washington Post from 1972 to 1976.

But the art critic had a dirty little secret. "I found art criticism boring," she confesses. "I was more interested in

making cassoulet at night when I got home."

In 1976, she left the Post to write about food for The New York Times. Then her husband, who was on the Times' national desk, was transferred to Paris. Wells went with him and began to free-lance. She has been the envy of foodies ever since.

Wells is promoting her new book, "The Paris Cookbook," on her current American tour, which includes a week in North Carolina. But the visit isn't just about books. She'll spend Thanksgiving with her mother, Vera Kleiber, and sister, Judy Jones, who live in Raleigh.

Here's what Wells had to say when we caught up with her in New York.

Q - How did you manage such a wonderful career?

A - I didn't apply for the job; I created it. It's a lot of things, a passion and a curiosity, trying to do the best job you

can every day. I'm doing what I've always been trained to do.

Q - Are you able to visit restaurants anonymously?

A - I still am, and I'll tell you why. It's a big place, with a lot of new restaurants, and I always reserve under another

name. I just had an incident last Friday at a restaurant in Paris where they were treating us like tourists and putting us in the worst possible spot. So I thought, "Read about it in the paper." Actually, I prefer getting the tourist treatment to being fawned over because that's more realistic for my readers.

Q - How would you describe your relationship with the chefs of Paris?

A - Very amicable. A lot of them I have known for over 20 years. Some we're almost exactly the same age, like Joel Robuchon [Jamin] and Guy Savoy [Cap Vernet], and we started our careers at exactly the same time. It's been interesting to follow the changes.

Q - You have written what many consider the bible to eating in Paris, "The Food Lover's Guide to Paris." What are your top three dining tips for Americans visiting Paris for the first time?

A - First of all, know what you like. Don't go to a game restaurant if you don't like game. Don't go to fish restaurant if

you don't like fish. Be selective. Be informed. That's more than three, isn't it? And don't be afraid to experiment.

Q - You once said, "Americans eat every meal as if it is their last."

A - "And the French know that there will be more tomorrow." We [Americans] are still not a food culture. We don't have the respect for food. We still have a fear of food. When we sit down to eat, we have too many negatives: no fat, can't have carbohydrates. It's just no, can't, no, can't. We forget what pleasure food can give us. It doesn't have to cost much and doesn't have to be complicated. Just going to the market and buying an apple can be a wonderful experience.

Q - Why do Americans have this bad experience with food?

A - We're so far removed from where the apple grows and where the apple is sold. Our only experience is the plate to the mouth.

Q - The French linger over their meals more than we do, don't they?

A - That's right. We do at my cooking classes, too. Sometimes our meals can go three hours. I had one woman tell me, "The only problem when I leave this class is how to make a tuna fish sandwich into a three-hour lunch."

Q - I suppose she could go catch the tuna first. What dining trends are you observing in France now?

A - It's more about the ingredients than the chef now. It used to be, "What is Andre's newest creation?" But now the menu might be potatoes cooked three different ways, so it's more, "Look what he's doing with potatoes."

Q - What foods do you miss most from America?

A - Corn on the cob, fresh crab meat and really good cottage cheese. The French have fromage blanc, which is almost as good.

Q - What foods do you miss most from France?

A - Great cheese. I'm from Wisconsin, so once a cheesehead, always a cheesehead.

Q - What is it like being the only American woman to write restaurant reviews for a French publication, L'Express?

A - At first I thought, "Oh, my God, how I am going to write for the French?" But it's not like I have 13 different writing

styles. So I just wrote the way I always write and had it translated into French."

Q - You don't write in French?

A - No, I can barely write a note to the concierge to tell him I'm going out. But I'm fluent in the spoken language. I've been on French TV, with my American [she flattens her voice on purpose] accent.

Q - What restaurants do you plan to visit while you're here?

A - Margaux's is one. I've really had some lovely meals there, and they have a lovely wine list. I'll also just be eating at

home. My mother and my sister are both really good cooks.

Q - They're not afraid to cook for a restaurant critic?

A - I'm not a restaurant critic to them. I'm just their daughter and their sister.

The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells

The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells
The Paris Cookbook by Patricia Wells

When Patricia Wells moved to Paris she had no idea it would be for good. But, seduced by the magnetism of that all-embracing city, she discovered a vibrant culture that intensified her curiosity in all things culinary. Now, more than twenty years later, the magic of Parisian cooking is still her passion. With over 150 recipes inspired by her favorite cafes, bistros, wine bars, markets, cheese shops and restaurants, The Paris Cookbook is the authentic guide to Parisian Food.

Succulent fruits and fresh vegetables, delicious cheeses, breads, pulses, fish, meats, herbs and spices come together in innovative recipes motivated by influential chefs like Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon. Try classics such as French Onion Soup and Tarte Tatin, or traditional Basque-spiced leg of lamb, a regional specialty. There are also popular contemporary dishes including Slow-Roasted Salmon with Sorrel Sauce, Polenta Fries, and Cherries in Sweet Red Wine.

Menu ideas comprise starters, salads, snacks lunches, main meals and desserts, complete with preparations tips, serving suggestions and recommendations for accompanying wines. Whatever the dining occasion, whatever produce is in season, you'll have plenty of dishes to choose from.

Let Paris live in your soul and bring the lively world of this most cosmopolitan of cities into your kitchen.

Paris Cookbook Reviewed in the Press


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The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells

The Provence cookbook by Patricia Wells
The Provence cookbook by Patricia Wells

Soon my husband Walter and I will celebrate our 20th year as owners – I should really say caretakers – of our rewarding little farmhouse in northern Provence. The property is known as Chanteduc – the song of the owl – and is made up of a splendid spread of vines, oaks, pines, and olive trees, as well an endless blue-sky view of the Provençal countryside. I cannot imagine a patch of land that could offer more happiness. Much of the reward comes from the precious bounty the earth here provides. It is one of paradox, for I can speak the word “earth” but barely the word “soil.” How can this rocky, seemingly forsaken land give us such richness? Bold and fruity red wine with a touch of wild cherry, plump black olives, precious figs that seem to drip with honey, and all manner of herbs and vegetables, from my prized Russian variety of tomatoes, and on to my cherished caper bush.

But that’s just home ground. This book is more than a scrapbook of our 20 years huddled around the fire in winter and beneath the oak tree in summer. It is the story of farmers and winemakers, tradesmen, shopkeepers, and restaurateurs, the men and the women who bake our bread, age our cheese, press our olives, unearth our truffles. It is a window into My Provence, a very specific part of northern Provence, a world filled with lavender fields, fruit orchards, olive groves, and endless stretches of vines. It is home to some of the finest vineyards in the world, those of the Southern Rhône, including the famed Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as my favorite Vacqueyras and Gigondas, and the lesser known Tavel and Lirac.

I live more than half of each year here, much of it spent touring markets, shops, restaurants, farms, in search of the freshest and finest of the season, sniffing out a new variety of potato, a just-released variety of strawberry, making friends with almost everyone I meet, snatching recipes and sharing a few of my own. Vendors laugh as I gasp when I see the first-of-season fresh white shell beans -- cocos blancs – a signal that I can add Provençal vegetable soup, or pistou, to my weekly repertoire. And when the fishmonger sees me coming, he is sure to point out the rarity of a special Mediterranean species. Chefs bring me into the kitchen to sniff a freshly unearthed truffle, and my winemakers delight in squeezing a perfectly ripe grape, its juice running free and fragrant.

In ways that only people who share a special passion can, we feed upon one another, understanding that we will all become equally excited and grateful for a perfectly ripe and flawlessly grape harvest, about a particularly successful truffle hunt, a second season’s crop of figs, or the beauty of an olive tree laden with a record bounty of ripe fruit. I know that we all feel equally fortunate to reap such harvests, and share mutual disappointment when the rains, excessive heat or drought, even hail, derail plans for a perfect season.

In this book I have tried to share the fruits of my own labors, both in touring the region as well as in the kitchen. This is a volume of Provençal customs and lore, of personal tips on kitchen organization, talk of cheese as well as wine. Market life plays a huge role in final enjoyment and so I have tried to shed a glimpse of light on that welcome ritual.

Food is nothing if it only looked upon as an ingredient or a crop. It must be appreciated in its natural state, savored and sometimes transformed – with minimal intervention – until it arrives at our table to be shared and appreciated by family and friends. As I have been taught by experience, the ingredient is best enjoyed when the least has been done to it. Over the years my food has become simpler and simpler. I want a pear cake to taste of pears, not of sugar or honey. I like tomatoes to star in a tomato salad and for nothing to overwhelm the sweet flavor of fresh red tuna. Chicken should be meaty and not camouflaged with creams or butters, and nothing can beat the flavor of sweet fresh almonds baked into a crispy giant cookie-cake. Each recipe is here for a reason, has a personal story, and is connected to a human being. Please, come into my kitchen and share with me the sunshine of Provence, the fruits of many labors. Appreciate and enjoy.


Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells

Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells
Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells

It was an August morning of abundant Provençal sunshine, and I was putting the finishing touches on my last book — The Provence Cookbook. I had spent the morning testing a quartet of vegetable recipes, and as I placed the completed dishes on the table under the oak tree for lunch, a light bulb went on. The dishes all looked so natural and so perfect, and I had so enjoyed creating them that I simply knew that vegetables would be the topic of my next book.

Every book changes an author in some ways. But Vegetable Harvest has totally altered the way I look at markets, menus and seasons, and the role of vegetables in the diet and in the menu. Rather than creating a meal around the fish, the poultry or the meat, I found that I began putting the vegetables first.

With vegetables no longer afterthoughts, I began trying to see how many I could pack into our diet each day. Even classic combinations were altered to give vegetables a bigger role. So beef with carrots became carrots and beef, and a newly created spring lamb couscous soon found its way to our dinner table as a generous blend of zucchini, chickpeas and couscous. Flanked of course by tender morsels of gigot. Instead of meat or poultry or fish and a side of vegetables, I tripled the number of vegetables in each meal.

As cooks, we all get stuck in a rut. Asparagus is cooked one way, zucchini another, eggplant another. To break out, I tried to find all the ways of serving a single vegetable, and to include not just one, but three different preparations of zucchini (or green bean, or eggplant) in a single meal. Likewise, we tend to steam, braise, roast, blanch vegetables the same way time and again. Again, the routine became a challenge to experiment, looking for the best tasting and most wholesome way of cooking each ingredient and found there was always a better or even a best way.

The students in my cooking classes, both in Paris and Provence, responded with enthusiasm, happy to go back home knowing how delicious steamed peas with herbs could taste, or to know that the stem of the artichoke is one of the tenderest, most delicious parts of that regal vegetable.

As I photographed in markets, I also found myself more and more connected to each and every vegetable. They were not just food to me, but little wonders of life. I marveled over the veins of the perfect winter cabbage, noticed the colors of the soil that clung to the carrots fresh from the earth, sighed with pleasure at the kaleidoscope of colors of the heirloom tomatoes in my garden, smiled as I spied through the lens the classic color wheel pairing of vegetables side by side: The French almost make a ritual of it, with deep purple beets and wintergreen mâche always teamed up, as are alabaster cauliflower and ruby radishes. And is there anything more beautiful than first-of-season white or green or purple tipped asparagus, gently gnarled fava beans, or the pert honeycomb of a perfect, spring morel?

With each season, vegetables seem to speak of hope. Their colors, the aromas as they cook, the intense flavors, are all there as simple, pure pleasures.

In this book, I have chosen to include nutritional information for each recipe. Not to make us slaves to calories or fat, protein, or carbohydrates. But to let us know what we are consuming. As well as pleasure, food is fuel, so let’s put the best fuel we can into our bodies. As one who cooks and eats for a living, I find that I need to pay careful attention to portion-size as well as nutritional balance. I want every bit of my food to count, so there is simply no room for empty calories or food that needs to be more caloric than need be. So as one who values flavor above all, I have worked hard to make the food as tasty, and nutritious as it can be.

As cooks today, we are all looking for shortcuts and convenience. To me, shopping every day is not just a necessity but a joy. But like everyone, there are days there is not much time to think about the dinner table, and on those days I do appreciate some convenience. Prewashed and packaged greens, frozen peas and canned chickpeas or artichoke hearts are a godsend.

In Vegetable Harvest I have taken a very personal approach to defining the vegetable world. The ingredients here include nuts and seeds as well as fruits we consider vegetables, like rhubarb, tomatoes, and avocado. In truth, I decided to include anything that would grow in my garden in Provence. That’s very personal indeed.

The greatest character of a vegetable is that it gives so much of itself while asking so little of us who prepare it. For example, some of the recipes here that I find most sublime are the simplest ones, like steamed creamy cabbage, cauliflower purée, and heirloom tomato broth with fresh tarragon. These are dishes that come together on their own, as the French say, “se mangent tout seul,” meaning they go down easily, with no need of embellishment.

Finally, this book brings a fervent wish: May all our tables be forever laden with fresh, gorgeous, fragrant vegetables!


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We've Always Had Paris...and Provence by Patricia and Walter Wells

We've Always Had Paris...and Provence
We've Always Had Paris...and Provence

“Patricia Wells, long recognized as the leading American authority on French food, and her husband, Walter, live the life in France that many of us have often fantasized about. After more than a quarter of a century, they are as close to being accepted as “French” as any non-natives can be. In this delightful memoir they share in two voices their experiences – the good, the bad, and the funny – offering a charming and evocative account of their beloved home and some of the wonderful people they have met along the way. Full of the flavor and the color the couple’s adopted country, this tandem memoir reflects on the life that France has made possible for them and explores how living abroad has shaped their relationship.

Written in lyrical, sensual prose and filled with anecdotes, insights, and endearing snapshots of Walter and Patricia over the years, We’ve Always Had Paris…and Provence beautifully conveys the nuances of the French and their culture as only a practiced observer can. Literally a moveable feast to be savored and shared, including more than thirty recipes that will delight readers and cooks alike, the couple’s valentine to France and to each other is delicious in every way.

Advance Praise for the Book:

“Two wonderful people accidentally found their destinies in another world, experiencing the enthusiasms and frustrations of a never-ending stream of adventures. The result is a charming, moving, and deliciously entertaining insider’s view of the people, the places, the gardens, the food and the wine that will forever change the way you look at Paris and Provence.”

Jeffrey and Ina Garten


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Now also available in paperback

We've Always Had Paris...and Provence Paperback
We've Always Had Paris...and Provence Paperback

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