I’m always on the lookout for new books to review that might interest my Francophile readers and today for French Fridays, I’m excited to share one with you that combines a few of my absolute favourite things – cooking and baking, Paris and markets. My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes by Emily Dilling (Skyhorse Publishing, $24.99) is celebrating a year since its publication date and it’s a book I read with interest as it’s always fascinating to see what other people say about Paris markets – which ones they like and why – and I even learned about some new-to-me markets that I’ll put on my “to visit” list for my next trip!
Dilling (author of the blog Paris Paysanne) has worked hard to raise the profile of the independent farmers at the Paris markets (whose stalls are not necessarily farmers’ stands – many are just resellers) – check out this really useful map – and in My Paris Market Cookbook, she profiles others who have contributed to Paris’ burgeoning “eat local” movement – including chefs, winemakers and craft brewers, coffee roasters and baristas, bakers, shopkeepers and other small business owners. Undoubtedly, though, the stars of the book are the markets of Paris – this book brings together a collection of useful information about how to navigate the markets (tips that will help you blend in like a local!) and a comprehensive guide to what’s in season through the year. Each chapter features a selection of markets and includes useful sidebars and information boxes profiling people and places (shops and restaurants) of interest for those who love food and drink and are visiting Paris. It’s a fabulous non-traditional guide book to the city for those who love to explore!
But this is not just about buying the fresh produce, meats, fish, cheese and other foods sold at the markets – the book also features recipes so you can cook up a storm after you’ve visited your local market. Dilling says these are “representative of classic French cuisine” but don’t worry – that doesn’t mean complicated. These are dishes that are really approachable and made with everyday items – Dilling says that the basis of all great food is good ingredients and that starts at the market stalls and changes with the seasons. As I’m in the process of writing my own French cookbook (for kids), I was very interested to see the recipes selected for this book. And thrilled to see they are exactly the sort of recipes I’d hoped they would be – a range of simple to prepare, homey yet with a definite French flair and representative of the true melting pot that is Paris cuisine right now. From Appetizers, Sides, Salads and Soups through Mains and Sauces and Desserts, you’ll find ideas for every season.
A really fun read and a unique companion to your more traditional guide book to Paris if you’re travelling there. If you’ve no plans to see Paris anytime soon, this is a great way to live vicariously through the Paris market seasons – kind of like armchair travel but in your kitchen instead of your armchair 😉
Since we’re in full tomato season, Emily suggested I share her classic Tomato Mustard Tart recipe with you all. We had this with a green salad for a light supper on a hot summer night and it was perfect. So simple (just a handful of ingredients) but so flavourful. Make it when tomatoes are at their peak – it’s a great way to show off gorgeous heirlooms too!
Tangy Tomato Mustard Tart / Tarte Tomate à la Moutarde
This tart is great for a light lunch accompanied with a green salad. You can dress it up by adding basil or mozzarella, but I like to keep it simple- using just a touch of parmesan and letting the flavor of vine ripe tomatoes stand out. The tang of dijon mustard creates a nice balance with the sweetness of the tomatoes and the light seasoning of herbes de provence.
- 1 x quantity Pâte Brisée (see recipe here)
- 2-3 tablespoons of dijon mustard
- 4-5 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 375°F (190° C). Roll out pâte brisée and use to line a buttered 10-12 in tart pan. Poke the bottom with a fork.
- Spread a thin layer of dijon mustard on the bottom of the crust. Arrange ¼ inch slices of tomato in the pan in a circular pattern, with slight overlap.
- Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes then sprinkle with herbes de provence, a pinch of sea salt, and parmesan. Bake for 25-30 mins, or until tomatoes are golden brown.
US/ Canadian readers – win one of two copies of the My Paris Market Cookbook! Details here: http://bit.ly/ParisMarketCookbook
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Disclosure: I received an electronic copy of My Paris Market Cookbook for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I receiving compensation for doing so. All opinions are 100% my own.