Book review: French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche

05 August 2021 by
Book review: French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche

Once upon a time in Franche-Comté, a young boy was walking through the kitchen at his great aunt's house. Suddenly he stopped in his stride, looked up and shouted, "When I grow up, I want to be a cuisinier."

The little boy who grew up to be chef Daniel Galmiche needs little introduction, either as a cookbook author or for his work across multiple Michelin star award-winning kitchens, including Harveys, L'Ortolan and Cliveden House.

French Countryside Cooking is a post-pandemic revision of his book Revolutionary French Cooking, made simpler and more in line with what he felt people are looking for right now. It focuses on our connection to nature, the seasons and sustainability, inspired by Galmiche's return to the countryside.

This is apparent in the layout of the book, which is separated into environments – forests, fields, rivers and seas, orchards and gardens, and, of course, barns and farmyards. French rural classics abound, whether it's terrines, tarts (sweet and savoury) or clafoutis. Many are given a modern or global twist: a beef tartare is paired with a wasabi cream, cod is marinated in curry spice and served with mango, quail is glazed in soy, and a classic tarte tatin gets a pineapple, chilli and lemongrass makeover.

As for meat-free recipes, there are probably just enough to keep a vegetarian satisfied, particularly soups and salads, risottos and tarts, with winter warmers such as a Jerusalem artichoke velouté, soups such as swede and squash with caramelised chestnuts, or asparagus and wild garlic, and a beautiful-looking pumpkin and goats' cheese lasagne.

Summer salads include warm white asparagus with grapefruit zest vinaigrette; goats' cheese and dandelion; chicory and marinated pear; and a particularly stunning Provençale-inspired courgette flower tempura.

This is clearly a highly personal cookbook full of Galmiche's memories of his childhood in France, stealing fruit from neighbouring orchards and eating strawberries and brioche with his family.

French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche (Nourish, £25)

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