Cut, slice, chop
Bite, munch, chew
Summer is the season to get your fill of fresh flavors and vitamins.
There are around 8,000 farmers’ markets in France and no fewer than 80 … The Americans, Japanese, Swiss—to name but a few—are envious of them.
They provide city dwellers with the freshest fruits, vegetables, fish, and local products. Every day in France you don’t have to go far to find a farmers’ market that is open.
They provide an alternative that encourages citizens to eat fresh foods and meet growers, many of whom sell their produce directly in the marketplace.
In the fields one day, in the marketplace the next, and on our plates that very evening, there is no better way to take advantage of their freshness, flavors, and vitamins.
Farmers’ markets are the scenes of lively exchanges, hustle and bustle, and encounters such as the one we had with Jean-Luc Juteau, who owns the Les jardins de la Houssiette farm in Houssaye-en-Brie.
Jean-Luc’s produce is highly sought after. You have to be at the market on Boulevard de Charonne armed with your shopping bag before eight in the morning on Saturdays if you want to have a chance to fill it up in reasonable time. The line of customers looking for fresh, quality produce is long and extends all the way in front of neighboring stalls.
Jean-Luc is a spry man with farmer’s hands, a craggy, tanned face, and an impish eye that speaks volumes.
He knows his customers well. Some are consist of several generations of entire families. He has been hauling in and selling his produce twice a week for the past 30 years, just like his mother before him!
Day in and day out, Jean-Luc starts his day at five in the morning and works for 15 to 20 hours. Such assiduous work is necessary in order to maintain the 11 acres of fields and greenhouses on his farm. The entire family—from his wife to his son and daughter as well as a helper—pitch in.
Integrated farming provides a correct balance between “excess treatment” and “organic farming”, which is impossible on Jean-Luc’s farm due to the nearby wheat fields.
Since little of the work done on the farm is mechanized, Jean-Luc and his family have to be continually present each day. There is very little times vacations: only eight days a year.
Looking at the fields, dry soil, and greenhouses in which the temperature rises to more than 40°C makes one grasp the terrible impact climate change can have on farmers’ livelihoods.
In early June, the family opened a store at the edge of their field in order to sell more produce. “Demand is high in the area. The advantage over [community-supported agriculture] baskets is that we let our customers choose what they want to buy,” he says.
“Everyone knows that it’s good for the planet and that we should eat seasonally, but customers ask me for tomatoes in late May although they won’t be ripe until late June. The cucumbers look good, but they suffered from the hot weather.”
We need to be patient and give nature the time it needs to “ripen” without depleting its resources. We need to follow its rhythms and accept that certain foods are not available all year round. By doing so, we’ll appreciate the flavors of fruits and vegetables even more.
Radishes have an unfair reputation for being harsh on the palate and strong on the stomach. Yet, they are a perennial favorite in vegetable gardens. Within 18 days they meekly push their way out of the soil to show their chubby little white and pink-red roots.
They belong to the family of cruciferous vegetables, which includes cabbage and turnips. Low in calories yet high in vitamin C, minerals, and protective compounds, radishes quite simply are GOOD for your health. That said, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may have a hard time digesting them.
It is necessary to consume it young and ideally on the same day, without having it dragged into the crisper, to avoid spicy flavors. In the fields, when it is too hot, it “rises” and becomes inedible.
Prepare radishes by rinsing them in water with a healthy dose of lemon juice.
Because pink radishes contain a lot of water, they are a powerful appetite suppressant. They are delicious when served with butter and coarse salt. They should be eaten young to prevent them from becoming pungent.
Did you know? The biting flavor of radishes comes from the sulfur compounds they produce when stressed (drought, excessive heat, parasites, etc.). These compounds themselves depend on the sulfur content available in soil. For mild radishes, water them generously. You can also peel them to eliminate the sulfur compounds contained in their skin.
In the kitchen:
Radishes are easy to slice with a SMALL HAND MANDOLINESMALL MANDOLINE and the pink-fringed rounds add a colorful touch to salads.
They are also delicious sautéed in a vegetable medley or baked alongside your choice of vegetable in our CUIT POULET (VERTICAL CHICKEN ROASTER)VERTICAL CHICKEN ROASTER.
Don’t discard the tops! They’re delicious in soups
Simply wilt them in a pot with a pat of butter. Add water, one or two peeled potatoes sliced into fours, salt, and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes, then mix to the desired texture.
Slice cucumber into rounds and place on a bed of lettuce. Slice fennel and spring radishes with a MANDOLINE. Finely chop MANDOLINchives and add squash and flax seeds. Chop chives and add the capers, squash seeds and flax.
Season with olive oil, lemon juice, 1 spoonful of soy sauce, salt, and pepper
Serve immediately to retain all the freshness.
The first records of zucchini being cultivated as a food crop go back more 8000 years in what is now known as Mexico.
Although many people consider it to be a vegetable, zucchini is actually a fruit (it has seeds). Its delicate flavor, which is more than made up for by its soft flesh, allows it to be used in an unlimited variety of recipes.
It grows in abundance, comes in a variety of shapes and colors, and is preferably eaten young.
Low in calories, zucchini is a great ally for those who are constantly watching their weight. Despite its high water content, zucchini is a good source of vitamins A and C, phosphorus, and iron.
Enjoy it in all its shapes and with or without its skin: in cool soups, sliced with a SMALL SMALL HAND MANDOLINEMANDOLINE into tagliatelle over summer salads, stuffed, in ratatouille, and as fritters. The possibilities are endless.
Recipe: Zucchini and tagliatelle Salad
Ingredients for 4 people
- 8 small zucchini
- juice from 3 limes
- 15 cl of olive oil
- 200 g brousse goat cheese
- 10 Mint leaves
- fleur de sel, pepper corns, squash and flax seeds
Useful utensils to make this recipe:
Select small, firm and juicy zucchini.
Wash and dry them before passing them to the small hand mandolin of our Mw.T collection.
Arrange the thinly sliced slices in a shallow dish (rather flat gratin) and pour the lime juice.
Pour the olive oil over the zucchini tagliatelle, add salt and pepper.
Sprinkle with chopped mint leaves.
Keep cool with a film for about 2/3 hours.
On exiting the fridge, if the zucchini has leaked water, empty the surplus and correct the seasoning with olive oil and a few drops of vinegar.
Add fresh mint leaves, squash seeds and linseed.
Serve with goat’s brousse or fresh goat cheese sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.
Two varieties of strawberries are primarily grown in Jean-Luc’s greenhouses. To score a few boxes, you have to come very early in the day or reserve them the day before.
His strawberries grow above ground or in coconut coir (fiber). This protects them from contact with the soil and is easier on the pickers’ backs. They are watered via an overhead irrigation system.
– Mara des bois: small and tapered in shape and dark red in color, its fragrant juicy flesh is similar to that of the wild strawberry.
– Gariguette: bright red, shiny and elongated, it’s flavor is both sweet and tart.
Rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, strawberries are an ingredient of choice in many delectable desserts.
Here is one handed down to me by my maman. It only takes 15 minutes to make and is perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Recipes: The Nanou Strawberry Sorbet Made Without Sorbers
Ingredients for ice cream to serve 6/8 people
- 1 kg of strawberries
- 200 gr of sugar
- 1 lemon juice
- 1 orange Juice
Utensils to use:
- Malle w. Trousseau glass mold or angle-food cake pan Trousseau or savarin mold, for a crown effect
- lemon squeezer
- plunging blender and its bowl robot Marie type
Rinse the strawberries briefly under water and remove the stems.
Place them in the blender bowl and blend into a juice.
Pour the juice into a mixing bowl, add the sugar, the 2 lemon and orange juices.
Pour the resulting strawberry coulis into a glass mold and place in the freezer.
Nanou’s secret tip: to prevent the formation of too many ice crystals, mix the sorbet with a spoon 2–3 hours after placing it in the freezer.
Remove from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. Take it out at least 15 minutes before serving.It can also be eaten very soft, like a ice slurry, embellished with meringues and why not with vanilla ice cream.