Marjoram Sauce with Capers and Green Olives

1 thick slice country bread, crust removed
2 tablespoons aged red vine vinegar
1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup / 1/4 oz / 8 g marjoram leaves
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed
1/2 cups / 1 1/2 oz / 45 g pine nuts or walnuts
1 cup / 1 1/4 oz / 35 g finely chopped parsley
10 pitted green olives
1/2 cup / 120 ml olive oil

Place the bread on a plate and sprinkle the vinegar over it. Pound the garlic with the salt in a mortar until smooth, then, one at a time, work in the marjoram, capers, nuts, parsley, and olives. Pound until the mixture has the texture of a coarse puree. Add the bread, then the olive oil and work all the ingredients together until the sauce comes together. Season with pepper, then taste for vinegar and salt, adding the smallest bit more if needed. If you like a looser sauce, thin with a bit more oil. It will keep refrigerated for a few days.

Makes about 1 cup.

Serve with pasta, worked into egg or potato salad, spread on bruschetta or sandwiches, or tossed with roasted or sauteed vegetables.

Glissade Chocolate Pudding

2 eggs, brought to room temperature shortly before using*
6 ounces / 170 g good-quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons fine grain sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
fine grain sea salt

to top: heavy cream, loosely whipped, slightly sweetened (optional)

Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until they hold very stiff peaks.

Combine the chocolate, water, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a double boiler. If you don’t have a double-boiler, you can fashion one by combining the ingredients in a medium stainless steel bowl, and then placing this bowl atop a small simmering saucepan of water. The idea is to apply just enough gentle heat to melt the chocolate. Stir until the ingredients come together smoothly. Remove from heat, and beat in the egg yolks. Add the egg whites, and fold gently until the pudding is uniform in texture. Pour the pudding into serving cups or glasses, and chill well – preferably for a few hours. Serve topped with a bit of whipped cream.

Serves 2-4.