Saturday, April 28, 2012

encore Paris

Some opportunities are just too tempting to pass up. When the invitation to visit Paris was dangled before me, from a friend renting an apartment there for a month, I jumped. With only a weekend to spare for such a venture I decided to make the most of my short time in a city I love just about as much as New York.

Last week's Parisian weather was less than ideal. I emerged from the RER station at Chatelet-Les Halles greeted by a hail storm. Dragging my luggage down rue de Rivoli (and celebrity spotting Donald Sutherland!!! Looking dashingly handsome, btw) I found my way to a most adorable apartment in the heart of the Marais district. After a loving welcome embrace from my dear friend and my luggage safely unloaded, I was off and running.
The beautiful courtyard of the apartment I was visiting. So French!
Some things you just never get tired of.

During my visit the French presidential elections were going on. These campaign posters were strung outside a voting site. Nicolas Sarkozy's poster looked as if he were starring in a movie, with its soft focus and dreamy horizon. A fantasy film perhaps, from the results of the election, sorry Nick.
At the flea market on Sunday I went wild for these Majolica plates. WILD! I have a real thing for them. They were marked 120 euros. Each! Ouch! Even in dollars I would have thought twice. No plates for me.
What I could afford were vegetables. The organic market at Boulevard Raspail had much to tempt me and I shopped freely, knowing I had an actual kitchen to bring it all back to.
Cute garlic with tails! Or perhaps it is long skinny necks?
After the market, a walk through the Luxembourg Gardens, glorious in full spring bloom. The sun managed to shine for a brief moment.
Even on a gloomy day Paris looks AMAZING.

The highlight of the trip was cooking a meal with the vegetable goodies bought at the organic market. The artichokes were sold with long stems and leaves still attached. They were handed to me wrapped like a floral bouquet. Stunning! And I had to have those cute French Breakfast radishes with the distinctive white tips, too. I ended up sauteing some of the radishes in butter and using the rest raw in a salad.
The artichokes got boiled in lemon water after I cleaned off the leaves and peeled the stems a bit. Once tender, I drained them, quartered them, removed the choke and then sauteed then in butter and garlic for a little extra shot of flavor. Oh so delicious!

 The heirloom tomatoes went into the makings of a salad, along with a disc of aged goat cheese and some baby arugula. This made a beautiful starter course and was easy to put together.

- r e c i p e -
Warm Goat Cheese salad with Arugula and Heirloom Tomatoes

•Make a bed of arugula leaves on a plate and arrange sliced tomatoes on top.

•Slice the goat cheese into 1/2" thick discs and stick them in a microwave for about 30 seconds to warm them a bit. You want the cheese soft and warm but not melted and runny.

•Place the warm goat cheese on top of the salad.

•Dress the salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Balsamic Vinaigrette-
I like to add a squeeze of lemon juice to this dressing to keep the balsamic vinegar from being too insipid.
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
several grinds of fresh pepper
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and whisk rapidly to combine. While whisking slowly drizzle in:
3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Spoon vinaigrette over salad to taste.

bon appetit!
(and Merci Beaucoup Dawn!!!!)


  1. Wow!!! Are you bringing some leftovers.

  2. WOW Love the heirloom salade!
    And I love the sunday market at bd Raspail-one of my favorites in Paris.

    1. Thank you Carol! Readers, check out Carol's delicious blog: Paris Breakfasts, a charming take on all things Parisian.


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