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.
(and Merci Beaucoup Dawn!!!!)
(and Merci Beaucoup Dawn!!!!)