the basics, part 1

I absolutely love post-Farmers’ Market Saturday lunches. Fresh, local ingredients. Quick, easy recipes because we’re too excited to wait for food to be ready. I’m trying to make this more our way of eating–the ease & simplicity, not the impatience…

This was the first morning Joe joined me at the market, where my network of friends & co-workers on side & summer projects is growing. It has become the place that makes me happiest, most determined to foster more similar communities & most optimistic about a sustainable future.

We picked up some beautiful produce, like this rainbow chard. Seriously? Have greens ever been this pretty? Those carrots? Nom nom.

Like I mentioned on Wednesday, I want to use Lent to bring myself a bit back to center–take time to be vegetarian, focus on food basics & live lower on the food chain. Today, I wanted to share three essential French basics with you: herbes de Provence, mirepoix & sucre vanillé.

My experience with herbes de Provence have been few, but all lovely. The flavors, reminiscent of the sunny Southern coast of France, seem to float just above chicken & potatoes–like the clouds you swear you could touch while floating on your back in the Mediterranean. The lavender adds a sweetness to the full flavor of rosemary & marjoram, lifting food & calling sunny days to mind.

I’ve read recipes that add in fennel, basil or oregano–showing the Italian influence on the Southeastern corner of France. I appreciate the language influence the Italians have on French–fast, fluid but somehow sharp & crisp, forcing you to keep up–but I’ll leave basil & oregano to the sauces. Let’s just keep this basic. That way, you can add your own special ingredients as you like.

Herbes de Provence, proportions c/o the Herb Gardener

Just toss together:

  • 2.5 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1.5 tablespoons dried savory
  • 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
  • 2.5 tablespoons dried rosemary
  • slightly less than 1  tablespoons dried lavender

Next up: the basics, part 2: mirepoix & sucre vanillé for my “being married” post!


About meganbetz

human geography PhD Student at Indiana University; wife, reader, writer, baker, gardener
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6 Responses to the basics, part 1

  1. Pingback: lent: the vegetarian returns | francofile

  2. Kelsey says:

    Lavender and thyme are two of my favorites.. I can only imagine how wonderful all these herbs are together! Lovely.

  3. Joe B says:

    Nom Nom Nom

  4. Pingback: the basics, part 2 | francofile

  5. Pingback: French market cookies | francofile

  6. Pingback: ratatouille | francofile

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