The Corsican Caper and Mashed Limas


The Corsican Caper is another of Peter Mayles' light, summer reading type thrillers, with beaucoup good food and wine mingled throughout.  I have been enjoying his various "Capers" with a few yet to read.  Don't expect anything deep, or even thought-provoking here.  Just frothy entertainment.  Despite which, you will get lots of cooking inspiration, and ideas for wine selections.  From the Publisher: In The Corsican Caper, "Master sleuth, Sam Levitt....investigates a case of deadly intrigue among the Riviera's jet set."  His good friend, billionaire Francis Reboul, is being stalked and pressured to sell his villa to a Russian tycoon, who stops at nothing in getting what he wants.

Actually difficult to choose just one dish from the book, as one tempting meal after another was described.  But, at the final celebratory dinner, (not really a spoiler as of course the good guys always win - big time) I was struck by one of the chef's sides, "a ragout of new peas and broad beans, drizzled with olive oil and the merest dusting of Camargue salt."  Which seems a rather broad (ha ha) interpretation of ragout, but going along with Wikipedia: "The term comes from the French ragoûter, meaning: "to revive the taste", which could apply to lots of things.  Since I've been rather obsessed lately with the various Ottolenghi books, (presently it's Nopi) I decided to do his Lima Bean Mash with rosemary and garlic, also drizzled with olive oil, from that cookbook. So, reviving it was.

A brilliant, flavorful alternative to mashed potatoes, used as a side with meat courses, or also as a dip, both of which I did, as the recipe made a large amount.  I had women over for a meeting and we had it with chips.  I also re-heated some the next day to serve with a roast chicken.  Very yummy.

The soaked, cooked limas are blended with rosemary infused olive oil, which is an idea I want to use for other dishes.  It only requires a quick infusing of oil with your herb of choice.  Sage or tarragon would also be terrific.

This post will be linked up to the August Foodies Read Challenge, hosted by Heather, and to Beth Fish Reads for her Weekend Cooking event.  Lots of good book and food suggestions so do visit.


Carole said...

I haven't read anything by him for a long time.... Cheers

Debra Eliotseats said...

I would not have thought of Lima beans for this but I bet it's delicious. I love dips like this. I've got a spicy white bean dip in the works for this week's post. Great book review. I smiled when you stated the good guys always win in Mayle books. :)

Beth F said...

I love those Caper books, though I haven't read them all. Great food pairing!

Wendy Klik said...

This sounds like a fun series. I will have to look it up. Thanks for sharing.