Since my six-month-old, my almost four-year-old, and our house renovation (exciting! also stressful and time-consuming) have really put a crimp in my ability to cook and blog these past few months, I asked my new friend, Susan, if she'd be interested in doing a guest post. Happily, she said yes! Read on for this lovely taste of spring from northern France. Enjoy! -Eve
The surprise snowfall of a few days ago has barely melted in this clement region of France, where we count snow days on one hand. It was lovely while it lasted. Everything was blanketed in white, and oh so quiet. I live in the center of a bustling town and the few cars that managed to navigate the streets sounded like they had slippers on their tires!
|My house (a restored 15th century convent) and yard blanketed with snow a few days ago.|
That’s all décor. When it comes to food, I see tendrils of tarragon waving in the breeze, along with a vigorous sorrel plant that seems to have sprouted leaves under the snow. The arugula is well on its way, and bronze fennel fronds are poking up here and there. Our snow halted everything but garden growth, which bodes well for spring meals.
|The garden at Rue Tatin with a swirl of radish plants.|
Beets are still firm and juicy, and instead of roasting or pureeing them, at this moment I grate and turn them into a spicy, shallot-rich salad. Carrots? I’m not going to make any more pot au feu for awhile and will, instead, braise them in turmeric to give them new life. Endives remain a favorite, but instead of caramelizing them with garlic I’ll dice and toss them with a garlicky vinaigrette, walnuts, and Roquefort. Leeks? In the winter I add them to soup or stew but now, I’ll sauté them until they’re tender and bright green, and serve them as a fresh side vegetable.
These little changes will keep us all happy until spring is truly here, and on the plate. And in the meantime, there are those gorgeous radishes.
How to eat them to show off their best? Slather fresh butter on a thick slice of baguette, dip a radish in fleur de sel, and munch away. There is no better taste of spring!
You can find more of Susan's writing and recipes on her web site and her blog. She also teaches cooking classes at her home in Louviers and at various spots in the U.S.
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