Amanda on May 12th, 2009
Quercy Spring Salad

Quercy Spring Salad

Salade Printemps

The days are getting longer and the woods are full of catkins and lime-green hellebores. The breezes are softer and the sun warms your soul. Spring is in the air. The soups and casseroles of winter are banished for another eight months. Or are they? How can you construct a decent salad with the sort of half-ripe, totally flavourless tomatoes available at this time of year? And anyway, it may be warming up, but it’s not that warm… the answer is in the oven, beat the last of the winter blues, roast those tomatoes until the flavour oozes out in a sticky unctuous sauce. You will have created one of the terribly in foods of the moment – the warm salad. In the Quercy this is no new concept, the Quercynois have been making warm salads with duck and lettuce, warm fois gras, crispy toasts and warm goat’s cheese ever since anyone can remember. But classical local salads don’t usually include tomatoes and this one does. In many ways it’s something of a moveable feast. You could give it an Italian slant with Gorgonzola, Fontina and Mozzarella, sprinkled with toasted pine nuts, or slide it down to Provence with Banon, Fontagne and a handful of green olives, liberally doused in olive oil. My recipe however is anchored firmly in the Quercy and was originally developed to use up cheesy leftovers in the fridge. It’s a firm favourite now and it’s utterly delicious, I promise. Read More »

Quercy Spring Salad Recipe from French Life

Amanda on May 1st, 2009
Gariguette strawberries

Gariguette strawberries

Welcome to the Quercy in lovely May, where the first strains of summer can be heard drifting through the villages and across the fields.
Every month of the calendar year has its own special charm, but I have to admit, May has the edge. The verges foam with cow parsley, underplanted with the renowned orchids of the region. Meadows are knee deep in blond grasses studded with numerous wild flowers. Rape gilds the fields and the ravishing white stone houses are pillowed by the new lime green of the oak forests. As I drove down into the valley yesterday, my car windows were wide open. Soft, warm breezes wafted delicious fragrances as I passed through hamlets garlanded with wisteria, plumped with blowsy peonies and studded with the pale lavender irises that mirror the colour of the wisteria and seem so very popular here. The sweeping vineyards drifted past, burgeoning new green, the walnut groves were tentatively putting out their first, delicate bronze leaves. From behind a collapsing old borie, a young deer eyed me curiously before springing to the safety of the forest, flashing her creamy rump. Read More »

May Market Life in France from French Life