London toasts and Normandy seafood: Cooking meals to get away

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Cabin fever got the better of many people over the last year. Chef Renee Erickson revisits her favorite destinations in her latest cookbook, “Getaway.” It  includes dishes using the porcinis from a Roman market, the seafood and Calvados (a barrel-aged spirit) of Normandy, the toasts and fried foods from London.

A simple dish of a mint salad and shallot on toast was inspired by Renee Erickson’s visits to London. Photo by Jim Henkens.

Roasted Shallots with Mint Leaves
and Grainy Mustard
Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 pound (455 g) plump shallots, unpeeled
  • ½ cup (120 ml) plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more to garnish
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • Crunchy sea salt
  • 4 ounces (115 g) fresh goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 packed cup (50g) mint leaves
  • 4 (½ -inch-/ 1.25-cm-) thick slices sourdough bread, toasted


-Heat the oven to 400F (200C).
-On a baking sheet, coat the shallots with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle with the salt.
-Roast for 35 minutes, until tender but not mushy.
-Let cool, then peel off the papery exterior.
-Halve each shallot lengthwise and toss with crunchy salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
-In a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, whip the goat cheese and the cream for 1 minute, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
-In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and vinegar.
-Slowly pour in the remaining ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil while whisking to emulsify the vinaigrette.
-Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
-In a medium bowl, dress the mint leaves with the mustard vinaigrette.
-Spread the goat cheese mixture on a large platter.
-Top with the shallots and sprinkle with a few more flakes of crunchy salt.
-Drizzle with additional olive oil.
-Arrange the mint leaf salad to the side of the shallots.

Renee Erickson favors returning to destinations to soak in and immerse herself in the culture. Her new cookbook is “Getaway.” Photo courtesy of Abrams.



Evan Kleiman