This week brings the first of this year’s tomato crop. One of my favorite aspects of keeping a garden (while growing up in CA and then again with a balcony garden at university) is growing tomatoes. There is nothing better than biting into a tomato just plucked off the vine – unbelievably juicy and warmed by the sun, their pungent, organic scent is my olfactory definition of ‘fresh’. Although these were picked yesterday or the day before (that smell has all but faded), I am still thrilled with the thought of eating a tomato that tastes like summer.
The rest of this panier is repeat favorites: lettuce, potatoes, spring onions and cucumber. All of which indicate to me that I will be eating green salad for the rest of the week, which is fine with me, as Paris is heading into an official heat wave. Although, the tomatoes all feel like they need to be eaten soon, so I am contemplating this gazpacho salad?
The other new addition this week is chou rouge (red cabbage), and for this I am thrilled!! Wednesday is le quatorze juillet (otherwise known as Bastille Day) and, with friends, have started to float ideas of picnicking our day away in front of the Eiffel Tower (you in, Camille?). I figure they are only 10 days late for a good fireworks show. Those small red globes will be perfect for slaw, and I’m sure I can find a good potato salad for the spuds as well.
Speaking of heat, France has an official definition of “heat wave” (canicule), so the past week of jumping between 30°C and 35°C have not counted. Having sweated through the last few days – we have no air conditioning at work or at home – I am less than excited about what is coming…
Lastly, I need your advice. I (sadly) only have a dorm-style refrigerator, about waist-high without much of a freezer. With the hot and humid days coming (and recently passed) I am concerned about the rapid degredation of the as-of-yet uneaten veggies. I love some good advice on keeping them as fresh as possible. Ideas? Tips? Grandmother’s secrets? Especially for the lettuce, which has died a faster death than I can consume it in the past week.
Moreover, I would be excited and grateful to hear your recipe suggestions/ideas/thoughts of what you would do with the ingredients I receive each week. Cooking with friends – even from a distance – is way more fun than going it alone! Have a great weekend!!