Alice Roca's six recipes for entertaining at a low price

Cooking beautiful, tasty and healthy for a table of six people for less than 100 euros? A headache at a time when inflation is mainly reflected in the price of food products. The balance is delicate, but not impossible for cook and stylist Alice Roca – known as Alice in Food on Instagram, and author of a weekly newsletter –, who is used to gathering her loved ones around tables wonderful. “Reuniting”, that’s the title of her new book of simple and poetic recipes, classified by season, “with always an eye on the budget”, she explains.

Mother of three children, she says she is careful with her expenses and has to juggle creativity and organization to have the pleasure of treating everyone at a lower cost. “Large tables which require preparation time and which mobilize body and mind give me inestimable joy,” she says enthusiastically from her pine green piano where, with a cloth tied at her waist, she coordinates like an orchestra conductor the different cooking and preparation of dishes. But to enhance these joyful and festive moments, she anticipates her shopping and plans the recipes by back-planning over several days up to the T moment, which she reserves for assembly and cooking.

His secret? Honoring the garden, the local area, recipes prepared “in large quantities and reheated to avoid waste”, and creativity to accommodate leftovers and extend their life. “Vegetables and fruits are cheaper if they are purchased without intermediaries in Amap or cooperative associations, such as La Louve, in Paris, or La Ruche qui dit oui! And not to spoil anything, I transform them into chutneys when they are too ripe, or into condiments, like orange peel powder or candied lemon puree, to enjoy the scent of the citrus zest once squeezed. . »

So, how to do it?

How to cook on a tight budget? “Invest in very good cupboard products, such as red miso or gomasio (read “The 5 cupboard essentials”, p. 126), which add flavor to simple dishes: salads, soups, roasted vegetables, etc. » Otherwise, she uses fish and meat in small batches, like fish roe on blinis. She favors vegetable proteins (legumes and cereals, which she buys cheaper in bulk) and which, from a health point of view, are as interesting as animal proteins, which she prefers to consume in smaller quantities, but of quality. : it’s better for your health and that of the planet.


© Akiko Ida

Preparation: 15 mins

“A fall salad that reinvents the Caprese salad, with persimmons and possibly caper leaves to replace the basil. »

  • Rinse and squeeze out 200 g of arugula.
  • Rinse and cut 3 persimmons into nice slices.
  • Prepare the vinaigrette by mixing olive oil with the juice of 1 clementine, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Cut a 300 g mozzarella into large pieces.
  • Start by placing the arugula in the serving dish, then the persimmon slices, and finally the mozzarella.
  • Add a handful of roasted walnuts, a few raisins or cranberries, capers, then top with vinaigrette.


© Akiko Ida

© Akiko Ida

“In order not to deprive yourself of cheese, which remains an expensive product, this idea of ​​a pre-cut cheese platter has the advantage of limiting their quantity. »

  • In a dish, place the foliage (ivy, bay leaf, etc.).
  • Thinly slice and place three seasonal cheeses, Norman gouda, ash goat and sheep’s cheese with Espelette pepper, with thin slices of persimmon or another seasonal fruit (pomegranate, pear, grape, apple…), dried fruits and a homemade chutney.


© Akiko Ida

© Akiko Ida

Preparation time: 20 minutes Dough rest: 1 hour. Cooking time: 2 mins

“These colorful blinis can be prepared in advance and kept warm in the oven at low temperature, covered with a cloth. All the softness comes from the whipped whites. »

  • In a salad bowl, pour 120 g of flour, 1/2 sachet of baking powder, 2 tbsp. tablespoon of sugar and 1 pinch of salt.
  • Separate the whites from the yolks of 2 eggs.
  • Add the egg yolks to the salad bowl, and whisk in 150 ml of milk to obtain a fluid dough.
  • Cover and let sit for 1 hour at room temperature.
  • For green color, add a handful of chopped fresh nettles or spinach leaves to the dough.
  • Beat the egg whites and gently incorporate them into the dough.
  • Heat a pan with a knob of butter and, using a tablespoon, pour the batter into the pan to form small discs.
  • Flip them when they form bubbles, continue cooking for a few seconds on the other side.
  • Serve with a little raw cream on each blini, a touch of lemon condiment and smoked fish roe (L’Épicerie Neuvic).


© Akiko Ida

© Akiko Ida

Preparation: 1 hour. Cooking: 15 mins

“A dessert that recycles dry bread into crispy tiles to accompany poached seasonal fruit. »

  • Peel and cut 6 pears into quarters.
  • Immerse them in a bowl of lemon water so that they do not oxidize.
  • Bring 500 ml of water and 150 g of sugar to the boil in a saucepan.
  • Add the pears for 15 minutes, drain them.
  • For crispiness, preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Melt 80 g of semi-salted butter over low heat with 50 g of brown sugar.
  • Crush 40 g of buckwheat seeds in a mortar.
  • Remove from the heat, add and mix 80 g of breadcrumbs, 40 g of flour and the buckwheat.
  • Spread this dough on baking paper, cover it with another sheet then roll it out with a rolling pin until you obtain a 3 mm thick plate.
  • Remove the top sheet, bake for 15 minutes until the dough is golden brown.
  • Remove the crust from the oven and let cool to break it into pieces.
  • Melt 150 g of dark chocolate in a bain-marie to accompany ice cream.


© Akiko Ida

© Akiko Ida

Preparation: 1 hour. Cooking: 1 hour

“I like to serve roasted vegetables on a base of yogurt and sesame sauce, with a zero-waste green oil made with carrot tops. »

  • Prepare the labné: salt 500 g of Greek yogurt.
  • Place in cheesecloth, squeeze and place in a colander over a salad bowl with a weight on top.
  • Leave to disgorge for 48 hours in the refrigerator then remove from the cheesecloth.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut 6 carrots and 400 g of squash.
  • Drizzle them with a drizzle of olive oil, the juice of 1 orange mixed with 2 tbsp. tablespoon of miso.
  • Bake for 40 minutes. Cook 300 g of lentils, drain and rinse them.
  • Season with olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Mix 70 g of sesame puree, fresh herbs (parsley, coriander, etc.), 1 tbsp. tablespoons of red miso, the juice of 1 lemon.
  • Slice 1/2 fennel. Spread the labné sauce, lentils, raw fennel and roasted vegetables while still hot on the bottom of the plate and serve.


© Akiko Ida

© Akiko Ida

Preparation: 15 mins. Cooking time: 35 mins

“I have a weakness for onion tatin, especially with miso, which provides that extra saltiness that makes it so tasty. »

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel 10 red onions and cut them in half.
  • For the caramel: pour 100 g of sugar into a frying pan with 2 tbsp. of water.
  • Without stirring, wait for the sugar to crystallize, melt and caramelize.
  • Add 45 g of butter, whisking quickly, then the onions, flat sides.
  • Continue cooking for 15 minutes over low heat.
  • Roll out a piece of shortcrust pastry on a floured work surface. In 6 molds covered with parchment paper, place the caramelized onions, flat side down.
  • Add 2 tbsp. tablespoon of red miso diluted in 1 tbsp. of water.
  • Cover with shortcrust pastry, pressing the edges and making a hole in the middle so that the air can escape.
  • Bake for 35 minutes.
  • Unmold while still hot and serve with raw cream.

Similar Posts