Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Novel Food

         Novel Food, hosted by food writer and pasta master Simona Carina, is a wonderful event. You cook a food from a favorite novel.
         Les Grandes Meaulnes, the story of love lost and regained, and a mysterious chateau in the Cher region of France, has been a favorite of mine since college.
         The hero, Meaulnes, wanders into a gala wedding party and is entranced by the sister of the groom. Suddenly all the festivities end; the bride has changed her mind. Our hero resolves to find her. If you don't know the book, you should. In English, it's called The Wanderer by Alain-Fournier.
          I could not find a description of the exact food for the noces (night before the wedding) feast. I consulted sources for the period, pre-World War I France, for the upper classes. No joy.
          The novelist George Sand did describe the wedding customs for the region, including the tradition of hanging a cabbage from the highest rafter. In China, it's customary to hang a lettuce within leaping distance of the lion-dragon. I decided to pursue a cabbage recipe.  Everything at today's Wednesday Market, and sweet-sour that I love!
Cabbage with Apples, Walnuts and Goat Cheese

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 small red onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, minced

1 small head red cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
2 Tablespoons balsamic
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 apple (Mcintosh style) cut in 1/2 inch pieces
2 1/2 ounces or more crumbled goat cheese

Heat the oil over medium heat. Add onion, walnuts, garlic. Soften the onions, toast the walnuts. (5-7 minutes)
Add the cabbage, balsamic and oregano. Cover. Stir. (12- 15 minutes)
Salt, pepper.

Remove from heat and toss with the apples and goat cheese. 

Cabbage for Noces, Le Grand Meaulnes peasant style.


Simona Carini said...

I don't know this book but after reading your introduction, I would like to read it. I like the research you did: I didn't know about these pre-wedding customs. Love the recipe! Thank you so much for contributing to Novel Food :)

Debra Eliotseats said...

Love that you researched the customs of the day! Sounds like an intriguing novel.

VassarGirl said...

Thanks Debra, there is a new translation of The Wanderer out this year!