The book is called Kuizto, a fund-raising initiative by Québec’s La Tablée des chefs which has for mission to feed needy families and teach food autonomy to future generations, most notably through cool chef workshops. I received the book from my own publisher, Éditions Transcontinental, who wanted me to provide some good publicity, given that part of the proceeds go to Tablée. Here is.
Published recently, the book promises “secrets, tips and recipes to cook good food for less”, thanks among others to participating chefs and luminaries such as Normand Laprise, Audrey Dufresne, Alexandre Loiseau, Jérôme Ferrer, Danny St-Pierre, Patrice Demers, François Blais, Diane Tremblay and a few others. (Actually, one of the featured chefs refused to take part in my own book À la bonne franquette, because of his preexisting commitment to Tablée and Kuizto but, as you can see, I don’t hold a grudge…)
The book features ultra simple recipes tailor-made for the target readers: young people who wish to learn how to cook, or their parents called upon to subsidize the first pantry of their first apartment.
Each recipe comes with a cost per serving and even a visual list of kitchen tools and pots one will need. That’s what I call nincomproof and why not.
I tweeted about Kuizto when I first received the book, my way to support a worthy cause. But I would have been remissed had I stopped there, especially since I found myself searching for an über simple recipe for a weekday meal. And I found it here.
Here’s introducing Kuizto’s Chickpea Salad with Mint and Feta, a classic with the fresh twist of mint and basil aplenty, my kind of touch. The book says it provides 4 servings, hum, maybe as a side for sausage or chicken kebabs. My men would have cried famine if I served it alone. Actually, to be honest, my husband cried foul because of the couscous, which he doesn’t like so much, but I do. So there.
You’ll want to remember this one when you fire up your barbecue grill, it’s quite a cool, easy summer salad. I suspect women might like it more than men — am I being sexist? — but only if you replace the red onion with shallots. You know women and raw onion…
(Should I keep my good intentions, Easter weekend should see me attempting a second recipe from this book, homemade cretons by chef Alexandre Loiseau from Bistro Cocagne. Stay tuned.)
Chickpea Salad with Mint and Feta
Average cost per serving: $2.20 (before the optional pine nuts)
• 500 ml (2 cups) cooked couscous
• 500 ml (2 cups) cooked and drained chickpeas
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese
• 2 small cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
• 1 small red onion, finely minced
• 12 kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh mint, ciseled
• 125 ml (1/2 cup) fresh basil, chopped
• 75 ml (5 tbsp) lemon juice
• 45 ml (3 tbsp) extra-virgin olive oil
• 45 ml (3 tbsp) roasted pine nuts (optional)
• salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine ingredients together, mixing gently. Season to taste. Serve right away, fresh herbs tolerate no waiting.