(This is a repost of a blog entry from Christmas 2011/New Year's 2012)
Yesterday morning, as you already know, Adriana and I ventured out to chercher du pain. The neighborhood boulangerie is a tiny little place, open at 7 am sharp, when it is still quite dark, and specializes in pain aux noix. We can vouch for its deliciousness.
After breakfasting, cleaning up, etc., we sortied again, with a list of errands. Extension cord at the hardware store, check. Rolling pin at the hardware store, check. Besotted youth staring at Adriana with open mouth, check. On to the metro, to Place Monge. This is a well known market area, and although some of the vendors were taking down their stands, plenty were open for business. We bought apples for clafouti, escarole for white bean soup, lentil samosas, and then, as though it were fate, we saw the scarf man. Hundreds of beautiful silk scarves and foulards from the Indian side of Pakistan, gorgeous colors, designs, weaves. Of course, we ended up spending more than intended, for who can resist such accessible beauty?
From there we walked down Rue Mouffetard, literally down the cobble stone hill, and made our way home.
Recipe of the day:
White bean and escarole soup
1 head of escarole
cloves of garlic to taste (I used three or four)
approximately 16 oz can of white (cannellini) beans, or cook your own dried beans
Saute the garlic in a little butter and olive oil (the butter taste makes a big difference, even a little, so try it). I used a very big frying pan. Add the well-washed escarole, after having torn the core out and freeing the leaves. You can tear the leaves gently if you wish; our head was quite big, so we tore.
Add the escarole to the pan. The leaves should still be wet from washing. Let the escarole steam gently; you can turn it over once every few minutes, and add a little water if needed. This method worked to retain most of the bright green color. Once the escarole is well steamed and quite reduced, add the canned or cooked white beans (cannellini) and let this simmer gently for ½ hour or so. If you don’t drain the beans, you will only have to add a little more water to make a nice broth, gently scented from the garlic and slightly bitter taste of the escarole.
Serve hot, with grated cheese on top and fresh bread to soak up the pot liquor. Be sure to have fresh pepper to garnish; this really brings out the flavor. Serve with a robust red wine and good friends.
Quote of the day:
“I’m not buying Masonite in Paris.”