I do not know how it works in your country (please comment and let me know) But in the UK it has become the custom for shops to charge 5p for a plastic carrier bag (often bearing the name of the store, so in effect the customer is paying for their advertising!) in the guise of ‘saving the environment’. This is something that has long niggled me, as if they really want to save the environment they would not use plastic bags at all (are the 5p bags magically less harmful than the free ones?) And do not get me started on the amount of wasteful packaging that you have to fight your way through……….
France also had adopted this custom, but I was very happy to see that many of the larger supermarkets have ‘put their money where their mouths are’ and have removed all plastic bags, replacing them with free recyclable plain brown paper ones (like in the good old days!)
A stack of paper bags waiting to be filled with wholesome seasonal vegetables
I was however heartened to see that the many UK supermarkets are now selling boxes of ‘Wonky Veg’ – vegetables previously considered not pretty enough to make it to our dinner tables (or spoil their displays!)
France is a very waste conscious society and over the past seven years, I have become an expert on making ‘something out of nothing’ transforming ‘leftovers’ (many of which appears on ‘A Taste of Two Cities’ – maybe I should create a designated ‘leftover’ section?) Regularly on French Breakfast TV (T2) a lovely lady makes very simple dishes with food that would otherwise be thrown away.
Today’s recipe is one of those, using a few odd slices of ‘raclette’ cheese left over from a raclette the evening before (any easily melted cheese slices would do – but not the processed type)
1 circle of ready-made puff pastry (make your own if you have time, but this is essentially a quick and simple recipe)
4-6 raclette cheese slices (or whatever you have left over)
1 large/2 medium cooking apples (or any ‘sweet’ eating variety that you have left over)
2 tablespoons of runny honey
A handful of flaked almonds (optional)
Line a flan dish with the pastry and chill for 1 hour
Spread out the cheese slices on top of the pastry
Peel and core the apple(s) and spread out so that the cheese is visible through the centre of the apples
Drizzle generously with the honey
Bake in a preheated oven at 200 degrees for around 30 minutes until the pastry is cooked, the apples are golden and the cheese bubbles up thought the holes.
Sprinkle with flaked almonds and serve either warm or cold with a little crème fraiche.