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Partie De Campagne

picnic

By Julia Child

I have chosen the Toulouse-Lautrec Partie de campagne because I know they are going out on a picnic with dear friends, whom they will meet in a chestnut grove a bit ahead of us and to the right. Those friends will have the linens, plates, and silverware, as well as a cool bottle of welcoming Champagne, a bottle or two of Chablis, and a rather light, but fully developed red Burgundy for the cheese.

Our friends in the carriage have a lovely, very French luncheon folded into white linen napery and packed in two wicker baskets in the bottom of the carriage at the back, facing us. There is a ramekin of fresh osetra caviar and biscuits, as well as an onion tart on puff pastry to accompany the Champagne. The main course is cold roast pheasant with thin slices of Parma ham and ripe figs, and a celery remoulade on a bed of watercress. A half-dozen beautifully ripe tomatoes will be quartered and dressed on the site.

The cheese course is a perfect, meltingly ripe Epoisses, followed by a cunningly assembled salade de fruits. Chocolate lace wafers accompany the fruit, as well as small bunches of large sweetly perfumed green grapes.

The four good friends will feast slowly and lovingly, lolling on the grass, while the dog lies beside them, now and then thumping his tail when the laughter rises.

 

Celery Remoulade

by Julia Child

Makes approximately 4 cups; serves 6 to 8

That big, brown, knobby, ugly vegetable known as celery root or celeriac is almost snowy white inside and makes a marvelous salad and accompaniment to smoked or broiled fish, cold cuts, and other vegetables. Because celery root can be tough unless it is very finely shredded, you will need either a food processor with a fine shredding disk or a hand-cranked julienne mill.

Ingredients
  • One 1-pound celery root (3 to 3-1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive or mild vegetable oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley (optional)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 1 bunch of watercress, stemmed
Preparation
  1. To prevent the celery root from discoloring, work quickly. Peel the brown outside off the celery root with a short, stout knife, and cut the celery root into 1-inch chunks. Shred in a food processor fitted with a fine shredding disk or in a hand-cranked julienne mill. At once, toss the shredded root in a large bowl with the salt and lemon juice—lemon helps prevent discoloration, and lemon and salt together have a mildly tenderizing effect. (If you are doubling or tripling the recipe, shred and season the root in batches.) Let it steep for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, place a large bowl over a pan of simmering water to warm. Set the warm bowl on your work surface, add the mustard, and by dribbles whisk in the boiling water, then the oil; finally, dribble and whisk in the vinegar to make a thick, creamy sauce.
  3. To assemble, rinse the celery root in cold water, drain and dry it. Fold it into the dressing and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. If desired, fold in the parsley and enough sour cream to lightly coat the strips. Serve the celery root on a serving plate atop a bed of watercress.

Note: The celery root is ready to serve now, but will be more tender if it steeps, covered, for several hours in the refrigerator—where it will keep nicely for several days.

 

Recipes From The Artist Table

Devil's Food Cake with White Mountain Frosting
Celery Remoulade
La Bouillabaisse Chez Panisse
 

Recipe from:
THE ARTIST'S TABLE
Images from the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Edited by Carol Eron
$28.00 (clothbound)
Publication date: November 1995
ISBN: 0-00-225071-3
55 recipes; 65 full-color reproductions
10" x 10"; 144 pages

(Reprinted with permission.)

 

This Archived Page created between 1994 and 2001. Modified August 2007


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