I know that some weeks I veer slightly off the recipe for French Fridays with Dorie (and that’s ok…) but this week, I’m way off the recipe, except for (what I would argue is) the most important ingredient, chanterelle mushrooms. This was supposed to be a(n admittedly odd-sounding) combination of Napa cabbage with toasted hazelnuts, parsley, shallots and chanterelles (which I will most likely make at some point…) but I say, when in France… use the ingredients you can find locally (and happen to have on hand on the last night in your rental property when you are trying to clean out the fridge!).
Chanterelles were not a problem to source for me all summer in France. I saw them everywhere (and they were so reasonably priced too!) so in my last week in France, knowing this recipe was coming up, I picked up a giant bagful at the market in Bergerac for about €4. I vaguely looked around that day for Napa cabbage but, unsurprisingly, there was none to be found… I already knew I had nuts at home (not hazelnuts but almonds and some pumpkin and sunflower seeds) and a shallot wouldn’t be a problem either… It was just the cabbage. Later that week, I did see some in the supermarket (imported) and I hesitated but ended up leaving it next to its imported friends – it just didn’t seem right to be in France with all the gorgeous local produce and add something not-local to my salad…
So we ended up with a very not-Dorie recipe this week ;) Soft buttery lettuce topped with thinly-sliced radishes (for colour and crunch!) and lightly sautéed chanterelles sprinkled with pumpkin and sunflower seeds. We topped this with a citrusy salad dressing and it was the perfect mid-summer salad.
I had every intention of making this properly when I got home but have not been able to source chanterelles (except dried ones) anywhere close to me. If I see them, I’ll nab them and perhaps I will make the Napa cabbage version. Or maybe I’ll let myself be inspired by other local market finds…
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s chanterelles with Napa and nuts here or on page 346 of Around my French Table.
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