|My grandfather used to have one pear tree in his yard that we thought was a blessing when the fruit started to fall – we ate our weight in pear tarts, pear sorbet, pear crumble and pear upside down cake – but my favorite was simply fresh off of the tree on the porch swing under the ceiling fans while he recited Whitman. Man those were the days.After a few weeks, when the pear love started to wear off, Papa gave me the wheelbarrow to start collecting them for the farmer’s pigs while he kept enough for canning and making jam. We couldn’t give them away fast enough.
The cyclical joys of eating seasonally in France are much like then. After a few months of blankly staring at the last of the oysters and clementine oranges (yawn), the vendors’ stalls are now heaving under the weight of bright red Gariguette strawberries and melon …
… and mounds of favas, bright green peas and bunches of spring onions…
…while the asparagus runs the gamut right now from the wild and violet-tipped thin and spindly variety …
to the somewhat embarrassingly big and grown completely underground without sunlight white stalks.
Finally, after what has seemed like an eternity, my black winter coat has been put away – replaced by a vibrant green trench and a renewed interest in my recipes for white asparagus topped with poached egg and fresh herbs, strawberries and mint with a light balsamic-olive oil vinaigrette, favas and fresh goat cheese drizzled with more bright green olive oil and then, grilled spring lamb with rosemary paired with a pureed white bean and roasted garlic bruschetta on Poilane toast.
Not to worry if you are here visiting and can’t do some cooking – enjoy strolling through the open-air markets to get a preview of what restaurants menus should be showing off right now through the season.
I can’t wait to get my fill!
That is until the summer Provencal apricots start appearing…and peach will be my new black