What makes someone able to say that they have lived somewhere for a long time? I don’t mean 20 years a long time but for some time. For me, it’s nostalgia and lately I’ve been nostalgic for three years ago when my friend Emily and I would go marketing together.
I was on the hunt for kale. The project had launched only six months earlier and I was getting tips that kale had been spotted here and there, so I would spend my mornings traveling around the city to the different markets to take photos and talk to farmers. Emily kindly enough came with me to be my trusted translator for when my tongue was tied and also to explore more markets for her blog. These mornings were when our friendship blossomed and we became more than kale friends but real friends.
I have one distinct memory from October 2012, when we met at Marché Daumesnil on the east side of the city. It was a dark morning, as so many are in Paris that time of year and we wandered up and down the market stalls, in awe over the multi-colored cauliflowers and light greenish yellow endive stacked high in neat piles. We sat in a corner café and talked at length about something that the time was just an idea, a dream, an aspiration: her book which is now a reality. My lovely friend made her dream come true.
I remember the hard work, ups and downs and nerves of the proposal and pitch process. I remember the recipe tasting and previews of the gorgeous photography. I still credit Emily’s photographer, Nicholas Ball for inspiring me to make tomato soup this way.
And while of course I was not there for all of her research and writing, so much of the book is a lovely keepsake of our marketing together throughout the city. Emily, who always intended the book to be a guidebook for the traveling locavore, was my personal tour guide, introducing me to a part of Paris through her eyes and encouraging me to see markets, farmers and produce in a whole new light.
“For me, even the simplest neighborhood marché is a crossroads of culture, community, and customs. Whenever I visit a new city, the first thing I do is find the local market. I can think of no better way to expose oneself to a new place and its people than by going to a market. Markets bring neighbors together. They introduce us to the people who grow our food, the people who feed us. They are a source of new ideas, inspiration, and recipes.”
A lot can happen in three years. Being a mom means galavanting around morning markets is a lot trickier (oh who am I kidding, it’s not even possible!) and Emily has moved to the Loire Valley to pursue her dreams of being a natural wine maker. And so I’m nostalgic for our market walks and talks and discoveries. We see a lot less of each other now but I know I can skim through My Paris Market Cookbook to remember all the wonderful moments we did share.
Poêlée de Champignons à l’Ail / Garlicky Mushroom Sauté
from My Paris Market Cookbook
2 pounds (1 kilo) mushrooms
(chanterelles, shiitake, or
even button mushrooms will
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive
1 medium yellow onion, thinly
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed and
2 tablespoons fresh parsley,
Salt and pepper
Under a thin stream of cold water, lightly wash mushrooms and remove their feet. Use a clean dish towel to dry the mushrooms, then cut them into uniform slices, about ¼ inch thick. Heat the olive oil on medium heat and sauté the onion and shallot until transparent, about 3–5 minutes. In the meantime, stir together garlic and parsley in a small bowl. Add mushrooms to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have given their juice and then the juice has been cooked off, 3–5 minutes. Add parsley and garlic and cook another 2–3 minutes, before the parsley begins to wilt. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
My Paris Market Cookbook, Amazon US
My Paris Market Cookbook, Amazon FR
*For a more objective review of Emily’s book, check out my article on HIP Paris.
*Anna Brones interviews Emily for The Kitchn.
*Foodie Underground shares the love.
*Emily provides five unknown facts about Paris markets on Lost in Cheeseland.
Another autumnal mushroom recipe here.
All photos courtesy of Nicholas Ball.