Belleville Bagel

Belleville Bagel

Some people have all the luck.

Maxence’s company recently relocated to Belleville, in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. Not only are the new offices in a rehabilitated workshop with frosted glass windows and exposed beams, nested at the very back of a series of small rickety courtyards, it is also right at the crossroads between North Africa and Asia.

You didn’t know such a geographic wonder existed? Well it does, as communities from both regions of the world have taken up residence on either side of the place de Belleville.

And this means that my lucky boy gets to conduct stupendous explorations trying out every possible hole-in-the-wall, travelling from Vietnam to Morocco by way of Thaïland, from Tunisia to China, from Korea to Turkey, and back again – all during his lunch break.

Thankfully, he is the generous kind, and from time to time he’ll suprise me with a selection of local Belleville goodies. Like for instance, those huge and delectable poppyseed bagels

Continue reading »

Red Cabbage and Dried Figs Salad

Salade de Chou Rouge aux Figues Séchées

[Red Cabbage and Dried Figs Salad]

If you look for recipes to use up a head of red cabbage before it applies for permanent residence in your vegetable drawer, you will find that the general agreement is “red cabbage shall be sublimated by fruit” : popular uses include braising it with apples or chestnuts, cooking it with pears, or pairing it with apricots or raisins in a salad.

Although the Cook’s Thesaurus dismisses it as tasting just like green cabbage and presenting the clear and present danger of bleeding onto the other ingredients, I still consider red cabbage my friend – like anything purple and pretty, really – and we’ll just agree to disagree on the taste thing, as I think it is distinctive and unlike that of green cabbage.

This fresh salad, in keeping with the fruit pairing idea, stars the aforementioned head of red cabbage (the volume of shredded cabbage a smallish head produces never ceases to astound me) and enhances its taste with little strips of dried figs for sweetness, toasted pumpkin seeds for nuttiness, soy sprouts for color contrast and crunch, and a lemon dressing for tang.

Continue reading »

Le Chou Labyrinthe

Le Chou Labyrinthe

[Cabbage Maze]

Part of the intense pleasure I find in cooking comes from the simple joy of working with ingredients, handling them and admiring them, trying to make sense of their qualities and potential, and gently convincing them to give the best of what they have to offer.

I have a particular fondness for vegetables, and I often find myself, standing at the kitchen counter with a chef knife in my hand, awestruck by their sheer natural beauty. In this instance, I was cutting a small red cabbage in two, only to discover the purple maze hidden inside. So graphical and pretty that I had to run and get my camera, before I went back to my prepping tasks.

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!

To celebrate the vernal equinox, I give you these wonderful crocus that Maxence has planted and coaxed into luxurious bloom on our bedroom window sill. It should be noted that the onions, along with some snowdrop onions, were kindly given by our friend Marion, who is also a balcony gardener in her own right.

Thank you Marion and Maxence, for jointly gracing me with such a happy sight!

The Gorilla Date

The Gorilla Date

After reading the Amateur Gourmet‘s irrepressibly-giggle-inducing post on Medjool dates, I decided to chime in and add to the praise on that precious fruit.

But why is my date so angry, I wonder? Is it because it is all brown and wrinkled? Is it because we gobbled up all of its siblings in the clear plastic container and it is the only survivor? Is it because it cost an arm and a leg but didn’t even get a commission on the transaction?

It is so plump and moist and sweet, shouldn’t that cheer it up?

Get the newsletter

Receive FREE email updates with all the latest recipes, plus exclusive inspiration and Paris tips. You can also choose to be notified when a new post is published.

View the latest edition of the newsletter.