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Weekend Recipe: Pierre Pelo’s Nettle Pie
This week we are changing the valley to climb the Moselle River to the foot of the Ballon des Vosges. We join Pierre, lurking at the end of the forest path, known as “Pelo” to people close to him who read his books. We find it from the side of the garden in the shade of tall nettles, a must for us to indulge in a fine cake with stinging leaves. He suggests rolling it out to taste it raw, its chewiness isn’t the most pleasant, but its protein concentration could hurt the entire meat industry.
We go towards the workshop, where we are surprised by the mixture of oil, acrylic, smoke, and we see on the stretched canvases the bodies of women in exquisite Eva costumes, an approach closer to the canvases of Caravaggio than to the Pirelli calendar. It must be said about Pierre that he began to study drawing very early (by correspondence), dreaming of becoming Van Gogh. Realizing that the place was already taken, he turned to writing on the advice of Hergé, with whom he had a long correspondence and was a kind of mentor for him.
Let’s go back to the kitchen to make this nettle pie. Pierre takes a thread of a thin Japanese blade, cuts two beautiful onions, which he then fries in oil in a seasoned pan. He washes 200 g of nettle leaves, which he grinds, crushes three garlic with the flat side of the blade. Pelot laughs, thinking of the prehistoric man who, after discovering the sticky property of garlic, came up with the idea of using it to make his arrowheads. He then tosses the nettles and garlic onto the light-colored slices, adds 4 pre-beaten eggs, cooks, and salt and pepper. Our vegetable filling is ready. The day before, his companion Irma prepared 300 g of dough, which now needs to be dipped halfway into a large porcelain mold. Pierre then spreads the filling over the dough in a high-sided bowl, adding 40 ml of whipped cream. To close the cake, he lowers the other half of the dough and forms a small indentation in the center to let the flavors and steam escape. And in order to avert fate, this is how men live near the spiers, draw a cross from nettle leaves, grease it with an egg, put it in a hot oven for 25 minutes. Pelot sets a simple table in the garden with spices and a carafe of water. Nothing disturbs cat phlegm always in a good place in the shade of a fifty-year-old tree, in which a couple …