• Hilarious, MD! I can see you doing it. You have one of the most diverse palates I’ve known. Thanks for you comments as always. Some good food up in this post.

  1. As you already know, I adore snails, and your recipe sounds really delicious; it actually more sophisticated than the traditional French recipe, which doesn’t call for shallots, lemon, or cilantro! Cilantro in the compound butter is “très” untraditional, but I am not a purist, and know I would love it! Cilantro makes anything taste delicious.
    As for the soup, I have made it several times before, and really loved it. I would never have put any of those ingredients together, but I trusted Ottolenghi and it worked; it was unusual, and very flavorful. I am glad you decided to share these recipes, they are really worthwhile!

    • Thanks so much, Darya. Yes, none of the recipes I saw for compound butter called for cilantro, just parsley, but I love the taste so I just did it. I’m sure they’re wonderful without shallots or lemon as well. Honestly, butter and parsley alone do the trick, but I figured I’d play around. I agree with you about the soup. I would follow Ottolenghi’s palate wherever he wants to take it. I’ve been putting off this soup because…watercress? But it was really good. I actually added a touch of cumin as well for depth, but I didn’t want to steer people away from totally traditional for 2 recipes in a row. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I’ve still got the kale recipe coming for you and then the meatballs and my very favorite, a Mexican taco that I just LOVE. 🙂

      • Wonderful! I cannot wait. I know absolutely nothing about Mexican food! And I did like kale, I just don’t get the whole “obsession” with it! Looking forward to seeing your recipe though 😉
        I think your playing around with the ingredients for the snails was a good idea, anybody wanting the more traditional stuff can find it on any other blog, but knowing that it is not the ONLY way, and that you tried and liked your own version makes it more interesting!
        Do you not like watercress? It is one of my favorite greens, I could eat it every day, raw or cooked!

        • I do like watercress a lot. I actually just don’t know what to do with it. I never thought to use it in a soup. I usually have it on a sandwich and it enhances just about anything I put it on, but sandwiches are kind of boring. Maybe you need to do a post and teach me! Do you put it in salads? When you cook it is it just like cooking chard or spinach? I have a lot left over from the soup and I’m looking for ideas!

          • I love it in salads! I’ve got two recipes on the blog already (one is adapted from Plenty). Watercress soup is very, very French (they don’t really eat it raw actually). We make a thick soup with potatoes and watercress, blend it, and add cream. It is quite tasty!

  2. Exquisite Amanda. A delightful post not many would venture out and create. Love your escargot recipe and they photographed so beautifully. I had to look up ras el hanout. Do you find it “premixed” at the market? I am very interested in making your soup so I’ll have to go on a spice hunt to find it. Your table was adorned with this beautiful supper.

  3. What an absolutely lovely post Amanda. Love everything about it. Thanks so much for the shout out to Tasting Jerusalem. Yes this is the January ingredient so we are talking about and cooking with ras el hanout all month. There is only the one recipe using the blen in Jerusalem, but we’ve included many more. I haven’t made the spice mix from scratch yet but have two blends at home – one from a Moroccan restaurant and one from an Israeli spice market that my son picked up this summer. I am hoping to compare. I also hope that one of our members (maybe Hannah from @BlueKaleRoad) will conjure up one of her own because she is so very good at it!

    • Thanks for dropping by, Beth. You guys are my heroes. Hannah doesn’t mess around! Im surprised it’s their only recipe with this amazing spice blend. Can’t wait to see what you have coming up next.

  4. I don’t eat escargot, but this whole post is divine and culinary education, including comments exchanged.
    I cannot imagine the taste of this exotic soup, but do imagine that is must be fabulous. I heard of ‘ras el hanout’ for the first time (I checked out). For now, I will enjoy as a feast to the eyes.

  5. “mundane vignettes”, I beg to differ. I shall risk repetition by saying your images have more character than you’d find in most food bloggers’. Snails, I don’t know (Haven’t ever eaten an invertebrate) the soup and the spice blend however sound exciting. Thank you for the Jerusalem Cook book too, I am sure the culinary history is as interesting as the socio political history of the region. Cultures have met here so must have cuisines and new ingredients.

    • Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. Oh the cookbook is amazing and the two authors are just so kind and creative. They are the kind of people that make you happy to know that you exist in a world with people like that in it. Thanks for finding value even in the mundane 🙂

  6. I just got Jerusalem and had this soup bookmarked — yours looks fabulous! I’m making the roasted chicken with clementines & arak tonight! And maybe the yogurt pudding. Bravo on the escargots – they look so enticing and are beautifully photographed. I haven’t had escargots since I first visited Paris more than 20 years ago – even as a young high schooler, I loved the garlicky bite and interesting texture. The addition of herbs as you have here sounds perfect!

    • Thanks! You are going to love the cookbook. I’ve made the clementine chicken. I used bourbon instead of arak and it came out so delicious and classic. I have yet to try their sweets. Enjoy enjoy and definitely post your trials and tribulations with it!

  7. Beautiful photos, especially of the escargots. I’ve never been “brave” enough to cook them myself, maybe this is in the road to inspiring me to do so. Have a great Friday!

    • Thank you, Sofia. What’s funny is that I think when you think of them as they are, it’s unappealing, but because I found them in the seafood section I just felt like I was eating clams or mussels. I have also had them in certain paellas and approached then the same way. It’s a mental trick. They are yummy!

  8. Enjoy your weekend! And thank you for sharing these recipes. I love these pictures, the colours look so joyful! I was given Ottolenghi’s Plenty for Christmas, and am looking forward to trying out some of his recipes. This soup looks fantastic – earthy and grounding. I don’t mean to sound mystical here, I’m just getting at the power of vegetables to bring back our equilibrium… Sometimes! I’m feeling a little drained, so tomorrow I have just three objectives: to sit on the beach in the sun (albeit whilst wrapped in blankets) and to make soup and parsnip bread. Sometimes the simplist things feel the most important!

    • Aw! I love your three goals. I totally agree with you about vegetables and food in general. Good food done right has the power to soothe the soul. You’re going to LOVE Plenty. I just can’t say enough about their recipes. Sun is so important too. I sit in a windowless office most of the day fighting legal battles :]

  9. Great post, Amanda! I have never eaten snails cooked this way, but they look absolutely delicious. Btw, mucha gente no sabe lo que se pierde por no atreverse a probar caracoles 😉

    • Thanks for your comment! Estoy completamente de acuerdo! No tengo mucho miedo de la comida pero hay cosas en que es un reto de comer como comer los pies de gallina en la comida china. 🙂

  10. I’m so glad you’re realising the value of every aspect of your life – NOTHING is mundane, and with the amount of things you seem to be involved in, if your life is mundane mine is dead already!
    A fabulous post, delicious sounding recipes (I haven’t had snails since I was little and on a trip to France with the family, and the soup looks divine) and gorgeous photos!
    Keep blogging everything 😀

  11. your snails look extra tasty. i’ve been a fan for a long time, but they aren’t exactly easy to find in most of the places i’ve lived. over here in japan, we tend to eat most sea mollusks. my favorite are horned turbans (the japanese call them sazae), but there are all kinds to be found everywhere you turn.

    it is always great to see tasty recipes which implement some really fresh, local ingredients. keep up the awesome work.

    • Thanks, Misha. What’s funny is that I found these in the seafood section so I think as I was eating them I was imagining some sort of sea creature. They aren’t usually available here but during the holidays all sorts of cool things show up in the market. Thanks for dropping by! Keep eating well!

  12. But both the escargot and the soup are divine, Amanda! I love chickpeas and am used to variations on this soup’s recipe and it’s one I know and know I’d love, but the escargot I rarely eat and yet, if someone served them to me like this: would gobble them up. How could this be among the mundane? They look so pretty and perfect for a dinner party and you wrote so beguilingly persuasively that I am almost out of my chair heading out to the nearest seafood store to get me some escargot. Not. Kidding!

    • Azita! You’re so sweet. I’ve actually never seen them before I found these and I haven’t seen them since. The mundane really is my kale recipe, which i have yet to post. I can imagine you do amazing things with chickpeas. I’m still trying to get the courage to attempt your pilau. If you find them you have to let me know how they turned out. The flavor of the soup was absolutely amazing.

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