In these strange times, many of us are turning to tried-and-true recipes to brighten our indoor landscape. And even though flour has become a hot commodity (come on, no hoarding!), if you can find enough, and you’re already cooking a lot in your spare time, this is a perfect way to treat yourself and/or your family to a pretty and savory meal.
Basically a doughnut-shaped gougère, a specialty of Burgundy, here the savory choux pastry is filled with fresh and succulent glazed vegetables. And this recipe is versatile: the time you want to spend making this recipe will determine how many vegetables you choose: more variety if you have the time, and maybe only one or two vegetables if you don’t. If your local farmer’s market is closed, you can definitely make do with what you find at your supermarket. You’ll see my recommendations for vegetables below, but you can definitely use asparagus, turnips, or even green beans!
½ cup + ⅛ cup (150 ml) boiling water
3½ tablespoons (50 g) butter, cut into small cubes
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup + 1 tablespoon (75 g) flour
a few twists of the pepper mill
2 eggs (+ 1 yolk for the egg wash)
¾ cup (55 g) grated Gruyère or Emmental cheese
for the glazed vegetables:
1 pound, 4 ounces (570 g) washed vegetables such as carrots, zucchini, peas, mushrooms, or broccoli (depending on the season)
3 tablespoons (45 g) butter
fine sea salt
a few drops of lemon juice
two handfuls of the herb of your choice, such as chives or basil, chopped
How to make it:
- Combine the water, butter, and salt in a medium saucepan.
- Once the butter cubes have melted entirely into the water, bring them to a boil.
- Immediately take the saucepan off the heat, and all at once add the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon or spatula.
- Place the saucepan back on low heat, and stir the dough briskly for about 3 minutes to dry it out. (You should see steam being released from the dough.)
- Remove from the heat, and turn the dough into a medium bowl. Add the pepper, and let the dough cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
- Add the first egg to the dough, and mix well to form a uniform dough. Then add the second egg, repeating the process.
- Preheat the oven to 370°F (190°C).
- Finally, add the cheese to the dough, and stir again to combine.
- Turn the mixture into a pastry bag with a plain tip (size 12). Pipe small doughnut-sized choux onto a baking sheet, and brush them carefully with the remaining egg yolk.
- Bake in the oven for about 20-30 minutes – the tops of the choux should be nicely browned. Then turn the oven off, but leave the choux inside for about 10 more minutes: prop the oven open very slightly with a wooden spoon or other object.
- In the meantime, prepare the vegetables: peel the carrots and turnips, and cut carrots across the bias. Cut the turnips into quarters or into 6, depending in the size.
- Top the zucchini and cut into four portions, and cut those into quarters lengthwise.
- If using mushrooms, clean and top them, and cut them into quarters.
- Finally, divide broccoli into small florets, about the same size as the other vegetables.
- Begin by heating 1 tablespoon of the butter and a good pinch of salt with about 1 inch (2cm) of water in the bottom of a small saucepan. Bring to the boil, and drop in the carrots. Cook at a simmer, partially covered, for the time it takes for the vegetables to turn bright orange and retain a pleasant crispness (poke a knife into a carrot to test doneness. If you’re not sure, taste one.)
- Remove the carrots from the cooking water (put them in a large bowl), and cook the turnips in the same water, the same way. Remove the turnips to the same bowl as the carrots, and save that cooking liquid in a small bowl.
- Begin again with the butter, salt, and water, and drop in the zucchini. Cook the same way, and finally, for the mushrooms, add a drop of lemon juice to the mixture.
- Remove each vegetable as it’s done, and then reduce the cooking liquid (including the one from the small bowl) until it’s almost dry and begins caramelizing slightly.
- Pour this cooking liquid, with the chopped herbs, over the vegetables in the bowl, and stir carefully to avoid breaking the fragile vegetables.
- Cut the choux into two (lengthwise) and fill with the vegetables. Bon app’!
makes about 6 servings
Hungry for more?
Check out the Taste of France website for even more recipe inspirations as well as restaurant recommendations and interviews with chefs!
Lead photo credit : Photo: Allison Zinder