Spring has sprung... jade leaves, bursting buds, humming bees... and the bounty of the seasonal spring harvest unabashedly adorning the market stands.
I got it in my mind that I'd like to start a running photo album — a snapshot, if you will — of the freshly harvested seasonal fruits and vegetables as they appear at the marketplaces in Paris. Seems so many of us are without a clue when it comes to "seasonal vegetables." This might be a nice jumping off point to remedying that frustration.
I'm talking here of a seasonal harvest that stretches from the Loire Valley to Italy's heel, and with the most unusual, heirloom-ish, and refreshingly "real" produce inevitably coming, for the most part, from organic, biodynamic producers (many of them local) — although there are a few daring "conventional" souls out there who remain in love with the earth and the "archaic" jewels it so generously offers.
Hope you find this helpful!
mid MARCH :: "rustic" arugula and chicorée ameliorée verte
Hard to find fresh ARUGULA at the markets here in winter. This rustic variety from Italy, with it's crazy indented, deep green leaves is sublimely peppery — it's from that mustard family. Available by the generous handful at my favorite organic vendors these days...
CHICOREE améliorée verte, a variety of chicory harvested in spring while still a baby. Like a tiny head of lettuce you can cuddle in your hand, it is one tender, if bitter, young green. Added to your salad it will impart a breath of exuberance, or lightly sautéed with a bit of garlic and a squirt of lemon juice, you might savor it with a fava bean purée. Mais attention... it passes like a flash: at the vegetable vendor's one day, gone the next. All of the chicories (mostly cool season vegetables) are full of vitamins and minerals.