A recipe from France.

2 eggs

4-6 tablespoons cream

2 tablespoons mixed chopped green herbs ( at least two of: parsley, chives, tarragon, chervil)

salt, pepper

Boil the eggs for 9 minutes. Peel, cut in half lengthwise and delicately remove the yolks without damaging the whites. Mash the yolks with a little bit of the cream to make a soft paste, and stir in the herbs, salt and pepper. Fill the holes in the whites with a bit more than half this mixture and arrange them stuffed side up in two ramekins just big enough to hold them. Pour thE cream over the stuffed whites and warm through in a hottish oven (preheated to gas mark 6/200° C) for 5 minutes.


See also on the egg page LES OEUFS AVEYRONNAIS (STILTON EGGS) and OEUFS A LA BEAUCAROISE both of which make good first courses in half quantities.





Red peppers (the bell sort, not the long pointy ones)

Anchovy fillets

Cherry or baby plum tomatoes, skinned

Garlic cloves peeled and cut into slivers

Olive oil, dried oregano, salt, pepper


The peppers need to be divided into their lobes (depending on the variety they normally have either three or four lobes). Cut along the indentations between the lobes to separate them, and remove the stalk, seeds and white pith.


Each person needs two lobes (or one if only a very small starter is required). Place the lobes skin-side down in a baking dish. Place in each lobe a few slivers of garlic and an anchovy fillet cut into two. Scald the tomatoes for 15 seconds in water that has just boiled, slip off their skins and squeeze out most of the pips. Place 1-2 cherry tomatoes in each lobe, cut into about 4 pieces. Crumble a little oregano over the top, together with one teaspoon olive oil per lobe, pepper and a little salt. Bake for 30-40 minutes in an over pre-heated to 200°C/gas mark 6. Serve either warm or cold.




4-6 oz/150gr green beans, topped and tailed

3-4 rashers streaky bacon, derinded and diced

3 tablespoons fresh white breadcrumbs

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, bicarbonate of soda.

Cook the beans until just tender in boiling water with a pinch of bicarbonate to keep them green. Drain and keep warm. Fry the bacon in the olive oil until crispy. Add the breadcrumbs and fry until brown (which takes only a minute or so). Add chopped garlic and fry a few seconds more, until garlic is just beginning to go brown (beware, it is very easy to burn it). Pour this mixture immediately over the beans and serve.






Blewits and hedgehog mushrooms