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Mindful : February 2016
February 2016 mindful 31 Resident foodie and mindful eating advocate Béatrice Peltre goes crazy over nuts. No food is more multifaceted than a nut. For one thing, there are so many of them, and each carries a distinctive taste and aroma to go along with its telltale shape. Nuts are crunchy and gritty, yet also very buttery, and dense with protein. They’re one of the favorite snacks the world over. (Pecans are my go-to choice for casual munching.) But they are also great for baking. The smell of cakes and pastries filled with toasty nuts can stop people in the street and lure them into the patisserie. Because of their oleaginous proper- ties nuts not only make great butters, they can also be ground into very tasty vegetarian pâtés. While many nut pâtés simply try to mimic the meat version, I find it better to just let the nuts speak for themselves. Combined with puréed beets, walnuts and almonds take on very pleasing hue of deep fuchsia. It’s nice when we can also eat with our eyes! And if you want some extra kick for the palate, add some chilies to the mixture at the right. Fruits and nuts are such an obvious couple, and with very good reason: They are totally right for each other. I’m a big fan of hazelnuts for baking. They’re very easy to work with, and since they add moisture, they are excellent for glu- ten-free baking. The pear and hazelnut upside down cake on the next page is so nutritous and only a tad sweet, you can eat it with very little guilt. It’s great for a mid-morning break at work or as an after-school treat for the kids. If by some miracle, the cake is still around after a few days, it’s best to refrigerate it. A votre santé et bon apetit! ● Go Nuts! Recipes, food styling, photographs, and narrative by Béatrice Peltre. Find more of her work at latartinegourmande.com. Makes 2 cups 1⁄2 cup walnut kernels 1⁄2 cup whole almonds 3 1⁄2 ounces (100 g) cooked and peeled beets 1 cup soft fresh goat cheese 1 tablespoon chopped parsley Sea salt and pepper 1⁄2 tablespoon sherry vinegar 1 tablespoon walnut (or hazelnut) oil In a frying pan, add the nuts. Roast on low to medium heat for 5 minutes, or until fragrant; let cool on the side. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse into a medium coarse texture. Transfer to a separate bowl; set aside. Add the beets to the bowl of the food processor and purée finely. Add to the bowl with the nuts. Stir in the goat cheese and parsley, and work into a paste. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the vinegar and oil. Serve on top of toast or crackers. Nut and Beet Pâté food