For those of you who are waiting with baited breath to see pictures of my new little nephew – I am right there with you. 🙂 I think that everyone in Portland is still sleeping and that means that I have to wait…booohooo. Unless you’re on FB then you can see a couple from Uncle Tom. So, while I would love to be posting lots of pictures of little Ashton James, I have made a commitment to do at least one post every day for a month in honor of National Blog Posting Month. Seeing as this funny little event coincided with our month here in Paris I figured it would be good to sign up as it would provide me with a little accountability. So…that means that while I would love to be posting pictures of my little nephew I’m not about to call my dear little sister and demand them less than 24 hours after she’s given birth. But I will post pictures from my outing to a great open air market last Friday along with some recipes. I know it’s a very poor substitute but I need to get these up before I forget exactly how I put this stuff together.
And I do have some delicious looking food photos of my finds from the market. The main shopping street near our apartment is Rue Moufftard – it’s cute, bustling, and expensive. Additionally, I am pretty positive that there are a couple vendors who are willing to take advantage of people whose French is not up to snuff – I paid WAY too much for some apricots and peaches and will not be returning to one vendor in particular.
I did have a tip from someone about a market down in the 13 ere and decided to make my way down there as we were having the Arbos over for a little birthday celebration. We had been planning to do another picnic so I was looking for inspiration for some sandwiches and an accompanying salad. Here’s what I found:
I also had three baguettes from our boulangie and returned from the market fully inspired! It really is amazing how shopping in the open air, joking with the friendly vendors, and choosing your produce from mounds of perfectly ripe offerings is worlds apart from the sterile environments of most super markets. My mom has a fairly deep seeded hatred of grocery shopping and I have inherited that from her. When I was younger I never understood it but thanks to my experience on Friday I think I have a better understanding. You see, she spent a year living in Paris in the 1970s and I think that must be where she got used to shopping in these welcoming marches. Once you’ve experienced it it’s not going to be easy to go back to Sainsburys, Publix, or Schnuks. Plus, I will miss the calls of “Bonjour, Madame, ce va?” Anyway, I returned home inspired and came up with the following sandwich recipes:
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- mild goat milk cheese
- 1 onion, sliced
- rocket, washed and dried
- olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 whole grain baguette
Heat some olive oil in a skillet and crush the garlic into pan. Cook slowly over low heat until garlic becomes aromatic and softens. I didn’t have a garlic press so my garlic is really chunky here – which means I had to let it cook very slowly so that it didn’t burn and turn bitter.
While the garlic is cooking, thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise:
In another pan, heat up some olive oil over low heat and add the onion slices. Cover and allow to soften for about 20 minutes over low heat. Stir every 8-10 minutes to prevent burning. The more slowly you cook the onions the more caramelized flavor they’ll have. Once the onions are very soft, you can remove the lid and cook until they get dark and begin to crisp.
Meanwhile, once the garlic has softened, add the eggplant to the pan in layers and cook until soft. You’ll have to stir and rearrange the layers ever 5-10 minutes.
Once these ingredients are done, you’re ready to begin assembly. Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Spread one side with goats cheese. On the other side spread the caramelized onions.
Top the onions with eggplant. Sprinkle with rocket and place together.
Voila! First sandwich done.
Stay tuned for two more sandwich recipes and a delicious potato salad that is mayo-free and very fresh tasting!