Seasonal Flavors: Celebrating the Precious Days of Spring

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The author serves her pountie al fresco, with bubbly. Photo: Denise Zito.

Picture this: the French countryside, a beautiful stone plaza, just off an enormous tiled kitchen, a casual set of wooden chairs and a table, the view of the garden and then the rolling hills, the sound of distant church bells. On the table are glasses of freshly poured champagne and a fragrant sort of savory/sweet pie.

We had just returned from a long ramble, which ended at the ruins of an ancient castle.  Now, ahead of us was a relaxing evening.

Our Dutch friends had recently retired to south-central France and we were lucky enough to be one of their first guests. They spent the week showing us this trail, and that trail. There were so many beautiful hikes and of course so much amazing food.

I have googled the word ‘pountie,’ and all that comes up are recipes for French fries and gravy as served in Canada, known as poutine. I cannot explain this. I am only reporting what I ate with our friends Margriet and Hans, and what she called it. Please prepare this and enjoy it outside!  These Spring days are precious.

Pountie (pon TEE) a la Marie-Andrew)

  • 5 Swiss chard leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 4 oz ham
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ½ tsp yeast
  • 8 oz blueberries or six plums

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a glass pie plate and put it in the oven to pre-heat.

Chop the vegetables, cut the ham into small squares or cubes.

Mix the milk with the egg yolks and the yeast. Gradually add the flour.

Add the vegetables and ham.

Beat egg whites till stiff and fold into the egg/milk/vegetable mixture. Then fold in the blueberries or plums.

Pour the mixture into the preheated pie plate and bake for 45 minutes.

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