Thursday, February 15, 2007

Chocolate & Zucchini

In my November 9, 2006, blog entry, I wrote about Dave's Law of Combinant Foods, a theory that proposes that if you like two foods individually, then you should like them in combination. Although the idea brings to mind some seemingly awful combinations, if you think about them a minute you realize that they probably could work. So naturally I was delighted to find out about a cookbook called Chocolate & Zucchini. The author is a well-known, Paris-based food blogger named Clotilde Dusoulier. Her blog--also called Chocolate & Zucchini--started in 2003 as a diary of Dusoulier's food musings and passions. It was soon discovered by the media and became so popular that she has given up her day job to become a full-time food writer.

Dusoulier's attitude toward food is in perfect synch with Dave's Law, starting with the title of her book and blog. It's not that it's her stated purpose to put two unlikely ingredients together. It's just that as a passionate cook she has the creative instinct to know when such things will work. Here are some examples from her cookbook that I think are cool: Broccoli and Apple Quiche, Pasta with Chocolate and Zucchini, French Toast with Two Tomatoes and Parmesan, Strawberry Avocado Ceviche, Tuna and Green Apple Mousse.

The book also has plenty of less out-there recipes: good solid French dishes that range from the homey (Mustard Chicken Stew and Tarte Tatin) to restaurant-worthy (Gratineed Chicken Soup with Pink Peppercorns and Creamy Mango Ricotta with Macadamia Crunch). And the book is very chatty (would you expect anything less from a blogger?). As Dusoulier puts it: "Each recipe comes with a story, because we all know that a dish is much more than a list of ingredients and a set of instructions: it draws its life and color from its backdrop, its emotional setting, and the little anecdotes of its genesis."

To find out more about Clotilde Dusoulier and her book, check her website.

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