Emily Dilling– a Paris-based writer and Bonjour Paris contributor— founded the popular Paris Paysanne blog in 2010. Seeking out independent producers, Dilling chronicled her adventures in the city’s markets, creating a useful map of organic and seasonal produce reflecting the region’s terroir. This excellent resource has inspired a new book called My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes– now available at fine bookstores and on Amazon. In this excerpt, Dilling takes us on an autumn tour of the Bastille market, and features two scrumptious seasonal recipes. Enjoy!
BOULEVARD RICHARD LENOIR, 75011 M° RICHARD LENOIR (LINE 5) OPEN: THURSDAY AND SUNDAY, 7:00 A.M.–2:30 P.M.
Along the tree-lined boulevard Richard Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement, autumn leaves turn a rusty red and fall and tumble amidst the bustling stands of the Marché Bastille. Starting near the famous monument to the fallen prison and continuing along the boulevard on an island spotted with parks, fountains, and benches, the market attracts both locals with stalks of leeks poking out of bags and backpacks and tourists with their cameras at the ready. The friendly rapport between vendors and shoppers makes one feel instantly at home in this charming and chatty market that is home to a handful of local farmers.
Baudry, a farmer from the Eure region in Normandy, sells heirloom varieties, including black and purple radishes and bright yellow and purple cauliflower. You will also find game fowl such as duck, pheasant, and quail at his stand. Autumn months bring heirloom varieties of carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, and rutabaga.
Les Vergers de Picardie sells fruits from their orchard at this and many other Paris markets. Apples and pears are on offer, as well as freshly pressed juice and a selection of other from-the-farm products that vary depending on the season. In autumn these growers will bring endives and walnuts from neighboring farms to complement their own selection of seasonal fruits.
Arnaud, a former pâtissier (baker) and vendor at Les Vergers de Picardie will gladly instruct curious shoppers on how to make a traditional French Tarte aux Pommes. The Picardie native points out that there are varying regional recipes in different parts of France. In Brittany, milk and crème fraîche are added to apple tartes (and to almost everything in that region!). In Picardie, compote or apple sauce is used as a first layer before sweet baking apples are added to the pie.
PICARDIE APPLE TARTE / TARTE AUX POMMES
Serves 4–6 people
Pâte Brisée (page 48)
1½ cups (225 grams) Applesauce (page 50)
6–8 Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples, peeled and cored
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a shallow 10- inch (25 cm) round pie tin with pâte brisée. Cut off any excess crust around the edges and use fingers to mold crust to fit the perimeter of the pie tin. Spread a layer of apple compote on the bottom of the pie tin, distributing evenly. Slice apples into uniform size pieces and use them to create a spiral design starting from the center of the tin and expanding outward until all space is covered (the apple slices can overlap a bit). Bake 25–30 minutes, until dough is cooked through and apples are golden. Serve immediately, with Crème Anglaise (page 56) if desired.
GOLDEN SWISS CHARD GRATIN / GRATIN DE BLETTES
This is a simple and nourishing autumn dinner, easy to prepare after work and a great way to use the ubiquitous Swiss chard that arrives with the changing of the leaves. Bake until golden and bring a little autumn sunshine into your evening!
4–5 stalks, Swiss chard, chopped
Béchamel (page 99)
1 cup (120 grams) grated Gruyère
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Wash and dry each stalk of Swiss chard. Remove the ends of Swiss chard stalks if dirty and then chop each stalk into thirds. Arrange Swiss chard in a large baking dish. Pour béchamel sauce over the Swiss chard. Top with grated Gruyère, salt, and pepper and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
Excerpted with permission from My Paris Market Cookbook: A Culinary Tour of French Flavors and Seasonal Recipes by Emily Dilling and photos by Nicholas Ball. Copyright 2015, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.