The Accidental Locavore met Naomi at the spice blending class at La Bôite. She’s the brains behind Le Bon Magot, a new line of condiments. As the website says: “Le Bon Magot – ‘the hidden treasure’ – celebrates a family’s lifelong culinary adventure across Africa, Middle East and South Asia.”
Currently there are three different products and I was eager to try them all. So eager, that when I picked them up from Naomi, I grabbed a plastic spoon from a coffee shop and sampled them all while I was waiting for my train!
There’s a white pumpkin and almond murabba (a sweet preserve). If you like pumpkin and can’t wait for fall and all the pumpkin-spiced whatever, this is going to be your favorite. It’s light and not too sweet, with cardamom, vanilla and the crunch of almonds. Try it with pork, or top some yogurt with it for breakfast with a kick.
Next up was the brinjal caponata. A riff on traditional caponata, this time the eggplant teams up with cumin, curry leaves and capers. My first thought was to pair it with lamb chops, so I did. Of course lamb and eggplant are always a good match, so this was kind of a no-brainer (and yes, it was delicious). If you wanted to go in another direction, it would be great slathered on some toasted bread in a version of a bruschetta.
Last but not least was the tomato and white sultana chutney. The minute I tasted this in Grand Central, I ran over to Murray’s Cheese for some Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. As it turned out, the guy waiting on me was the same one from a few minutes before. He tried the chutney and loved it so much that I gave him the label from the bag Naomi had given me and told him Murray’s should start carrying it. It was great with the cheddar! Since I had the lamb chops going, I also tasted them with the chutney. It was even better than with the caponata! In the spirit of experimentation, we also put some cream cheese on a baguette and topped it with the chutney and liked that too. It would make a simple and delicious appetizer the next time we have dinner guests. Naomi says to use it in place of ketchup, so there’s a burger waiting in my future.
As a special treat, I met with Naomi recently and she gave me a sneak preview of what she’s cooking up next. There’s a delicious savory granola and a raisin and rose petal compote. The compote would be wonderful with a good chèvre on a nice olive crisp, like the ones from David Lebovitz’s book. Hmm, I think there’s some in my freezer…
Also in work is the sultana’s lemon-saffron preserve with caraway and crystallized honey and coming in the summer, a blackberry compote to take advantage of the summer’s bounty – I can’t wait! If you’d like to try them, the first three are available on the website. Enjoy!