Seasonal Cooking in Paris (but what season is this?)

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

A dreary and wet day at the Tuileries today

Spring has made a come-back in Paris this week in a very wet and chilly way. Yesterday was an unusual day of almost constant rain, some of it heavy. I actually had to close windows because the apartment was too cold, this less than a week after I was sweating profusely in a grocery store on the Champs Élysées. My sister has understandably been in a tizzy about what to pack for her family of 5, who are boarding a plane for Paris any minute now. I have a thousand things to do in preparation for their much-anticipated visit, but I thought I should get a short post out while I have peace and quiet.

The Paris markets look like summer, despite the current crazy weather.

Early this week I made David Lebovitz’s French Lentil Salad with Goat Cheese and Walnuts. The recipe is from his new cookbook, My Paris Kitchen, which I adore but was not able to lug with me from Houston. Happily, the recipe appeared in my inbox courtesy of Splendid Table, and I bookmarked it and made it toute de suite. It’s delicious and keeps very well, which is a good thing because it’s a large portion and we are only two. I omitted the goat cheese because Mark is not a fan of the goat, but I added it to my plates and found it added a nice tang.



those are just water droplets on the counter, I swear

Tuesday’s trip to the Marché d’ Aligre provided these lovelies:


I have always admired these gorgeous pink, speckled beans. I think they are borlotti beans, also known as cranberry beans. When out of their flashy pink jackets, they look like this.


Unfortunately these babies lose their ruby tinges when cooked, turning rather drab and grey. I mixed mine with pearl barley and lots of fresh sage and garlic, using a recipe from another beloved and new cookbook, The French Market. I don’t have a picture of the finished dish because it is more tasty than it is photogenic. You know how that goes.

Cherries have been everywhere in the market, and were really inexpensive at Aligre. I pitted 6 cups of them and cooked them in apple juice, sugar, and lemon, as David Lebovitz directed me. They are delicious on ice cream or as a topping for other desserts. Like the peach crisp I made with drippy and sweet peaches. Oh yes I did.


I gave a jar of those cherries to the concierge of our building, because it’s always a good idea to take sweets to people who do helpful things for you, like speaking  French v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w-l-y so that you have a fighting chance of understanding. I wish I knew more people like that. Maybe I should buy some more cherries. But next time I will know to pit them in the shower. Those suckers spray juice everywhere!

As Paula Deen used to say, “I’m sending you love and best dishes, from my kitchen to yours.” You did read that with a big southern drawl, didn’t you?

If you see my sister, tell her to pack some umbrellas.



Filed under cooking, food markets, Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

2 responses to “Seasonal Cooking in Paris (but what season is this?)

  1. Laura

    The lentil salad looked beautiful in your craft fair bowl. If I could find the artist’s card I would direct him to your blog.

  2. Margaret

    Well I would give anything for some rain right now — sounds so cool and refreshing!This California drought has lasted far too long. As for food, that lentil salad looks very yummy so I’ll have to make it (with the goat cheese too). We are big lentil fans in this house. And as for the borlotti beans, they are an Italian staple and very tasty too. Good idea about bribing the concierge with sweet treats — can’t go wrong in France with a move like that! Send us some rain please and keep up the great posts that always make me wish I were there.

Hollah back y'all!

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