January, the unofficial month in America for diets and cleanses and general low-fat eating, might seem like an odd time to cook a bunch of recipes from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Especially if you’re someone who, for example, ate an average of 6 to 8 cookies at day for the last two weeks. (But who’s keeping exact count?)
Contrary to some beliefs, not ever recipe in MTAOFC involves tons of butter, heavy cream, or fatty meats. You just have to dig a bit to find the recipes from Provence, where olive oil is used more profusely. Soup au pistou, one of the quintessential Provençal soup, is pretty much all vegetables and beans. Ratatouille is another all-vegetarian dish using olive oil, and you can really use half the oil that Julia Child calls for. Or salade niçoise, or bouillabaisse, or saffron-scented garlic soup.