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Mindful : June 2015
June 2015 mindful 31 When summertime hits, resident foodie and mindful eating advocate Béatrice Peltre loves to get creative with subtle, simple zucchini. If I had to pick one word to describe zucchini, it would be “versatile.” You can use the juicy summer squash to create simple a nd sophisticated dishes alike, since its taste is so subtle. It has a won- derful crunch, yet it can be so tender. Technically zucchini is a fruit, which is perhaps why it's so well suited to baking as well as savory cooking. I often use them to add moisture and texture to cakes a nd breads. Zucchini grow all summer long, and I’ve always found it exciting to watch them transform from beautiful, bright, delicate flowers into plump, hea rty fruits. At the farmers market they come in lots of varieties: big ones, small ones, ador- able little round ones. They ca n be bright golden yellow, da rk forest green, even striped like a watermelon—I go crazy for all the shapes a nd colors a nd patterns! One of my favorite things about zucchini is that you can cut them into so many different shapes, each with its own eating experience. My salad recipe calls for shaved zucchini, which is very pretty and makes a wonderful base for a crisp and delicate summer dish. The fritters call for g rated zucchini, fried to golden, crisp perfection—for me fritters are the very definition of comfort food. Because zucchini’s flavor is so mellow, you need to dress it up with a bit of zing— like fresh herbs, citrus, and shallots. In the salad I add some tomatoes for acidity, radishes for bite and texture, and some fresh mozzarella to give the salad cream- iness a nd substance. I like to serve the fritters with sour cream or crème fraîche, and I often enjoy them with a simple soup or salad as an easy lunch or a nice, light dinner. I hope you do too. A votre santé et bon appétit! ● Zucchini: The Shapeshifter Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. Makes 4 servings Dash of sea salt and ground pepper 1 garlic clove, finely minced 1 teaspoon honey 2 tablespoons lemon juice 6 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped 1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped 1 pound (450 g) zucchini 1 cup small mozzarella balls 1 1⁄2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 4 pink radishes, thinly sliced 1⁄4 cup roasted pine nuts 1⁄4 cup Pecorino cheese, shaved In a small bowl, combine salt and pepper. Add the garlic, honey, and lemon juice. Stir in the olive oil and whisk to emulsify. Add the fresh herbs; set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to shave long ribbons from the zucchini— stop when you get to the seeded core. Transfer the shaved zucchini to a large bowl and add the mozzarella, tomatoes, and radishes. Toss gently with the dressing and add the pine nuts and shaved Pecorino. Serve immediately. Shaved Zucchini Salad food