The cure for holiday excess: An absolutely simple, absolutely delicious French vegetarian recipe. And I worked it into a complete menu, too!

The recipes I like best are fast, easy, vegetarian, inexpensive, healthy, and so delicious that I would eat them even if they weren't good for me.

And what do I do when I find a recipe like that? Well, I share it with you.

And, even better, I share an entire menu's worth of recipes. But of course!

The cure for holiday overload: A nice, French vegetarian dish
If you have never read Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis, you might want to pick it up. Of course, this American living in a French village is a delight to read. But, even better, she has all sorts of recipes well worth trying.

Like this one.
French vegetarian recipe: Tomato Salad with Mozzarella and Pistachios
4 to 6 servings

2 very large (about 9 ounces; 270 g each) ripe tomatoes, cored, and cut into thick slices
8 ounces (250 g) fresh mozzarella, cut into 8 equal slices
1/4 cup (25 g) salted pistachios, dark skins rubbed off and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons (45 ml) pistachio oil or extra virgin olive oil
Fleur de sel
Sprig of fresh basil

Arrange the tomato and mozzarella slices alternately on a serving platter. (If there aren't enough slices of mozzarella to alternate with all the slices of tomato, work it out so the salad looks balanced and lovely.)

In a small bowl, stir the pistachio nuts into the oil, then drizzle the mixture evenly over the tomatoes and cheese. Season with fleur de sel, and garnish with the basil sprig. Serve at room temperature.

And here's how it fits into a scrumptious menu

So I was thinking, how do I turn this into a complete menu? Here are my thoughts.

First, use this as your appetizer. Then, follow it with Daniel Boulud's Mediterranean Tomato-Lemon Tart. Now, that sounds pretty good to me, but if you want something with a bit more kick to it, you could try K.D. Lang's Indonesian Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing (who knew that girl could cook?).

For desert, you could go for something nice and light, like Donna Hay's Orange and Poppyseed Cake. But if you want to go for something totally decadent (and who doesn't, I ask you?!), I'd head straight for the Hot Chocolate Puddings from Nigel Slater's The Kitchen Diaries.

Yum, yum!
(Hey — was that helpful, having a menu planned out? Personally, I love that my blog has been around long enough — wow, a year now! — for me to have enough recipes to plan a menu. And I have so many more, both mine and favorites from books, that I have yet to post. But what I want to know is does that help — having a full menu? Because if it does, I can do it again.)

Bon app├ętit!