Sunday, June 12, 2011

Seasonal Sunday--Market Salads

{serious market shoppers}
Today's post is a look at my local Sunday market. It's right nearby and on the way to the boulangerie so most Sundays find us walking over there for some olives, delicious tomato dip and whatever fruit or vegetable is in season. Today I bought a melon, a paper bag full of green beans and some plump, oval tomatoes. All from less than 15 km away.

Nothing says summer in France to me like the melons--coral, fleshy and fragrant; cantaloupes to you and me. I've looked forward to their appearance at the market stalls since March, just waiting. There's nothing like their sweet juiciness, seeds scooped out to form our favorite treat, a 'melon bowl'. I love to eat them just this way, digging up juicy bites with a spoon, dribbles trailing down my chin.

You will usually find these served as a starter with salty cured ham, thinly sliced and wrapped around coral wedges. Perfection.
{Ma Fille said not to look like a tourist; photos suffered}

I didn't have any ham today so decided to cut my melon up in rough chunks and sprinkle it with fresh mint leaves.

We also had a salad made with the tomatoes, the green parts of a spring onion and a healthy slick of olive oil. Potato salad with market black olives, capers and a blend of creme fraiche and mayonaisse (I'm still a Texan, ya'll) were the sides to our grilled sausages.

Summer in France; fresh from the market, right out on our terrace.

Melon with Fresh Mint

1 fresh, juicy cantaloupe, halved, peeled & seeded and cut into rough chunks
3-5 fresh mint leaves, sliced thinly

Prepare your melon and simply sprinkle over the mint. Divine. Leave it in chunks so it's a bit of a juicy mess when you devour it.

{The Baby with our loot}
Tomato & Scallion Salad

8-10 ripe, oval tomatoes; quartered
1 large scallion, green parts cut into slim loops and a couple thin slivers of white

olive oil
salt & pepper

{refrigerated cheese truck}
Potato Salad

salad potatoes, peeled and boiled--figure 3 for each person eating the salad
1 teaspoon or so drained capers*
black olives, pitted
big handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1/4 c mayonaisse
1/4-1/2 c creme fraiche (i use low-fat because of the mayo)
freshly ground pepper

*I'd love to add a couple of anchovies here too but I'm the only one who likes them (try it though and see if anyone notices)

Peel and boil the potatoes. Rinse and leave to cool.
Pit the olives and add to the cooled potatoes. Drain and add in the capers. And a smushed up anchovy if you're going for it. Chop the parsley roughly and add in. Mix together.
Then, add the mayo and creme fraiche and mix again. Adjust the amounts to your liking and the amount of potatoes you're using. You don't want it to be a big, gloopy mess so use your judgment.
Chill until ready to serve.
Black pepper ground on before serving can never go wrong.


  1. all the dishes sounds sound delicious! i wish we had juicy cantaloupe here in CA...they are always so not ripe when i buy them.

  2. Isn't this just the most glorious time of year in France with all that fresh delicious food? You hardly need anything to make it a gourmet treat, n'est-ce pas? The freshness of the food speaks for its self, loud and clear! I need to get my pahtootie to the market tomorrow ....


  3. French markets are the best, and I'm with Charley, this time of year is made of WIN.

    You've also given me a major hankering for some melon ......

    PS: I made Ma Fille's (well, ta fille's) courgette/olive/ham loaf on the weekend - delicious!

    xx B

  4. B!
    When are you and M coming over for an afternoon of lunch and vin?
    a xo

  5. The picture of Littlest with your bag is adorable.
    I'm going to make your potato salad for G's birthday bbq, sounds delicious and just the right mix of American and French.
    Before I come in July, remind me to get some melons for you from Honey Jr... remember his maternal grandparents are melon farmers. We'll put holes in them and fill them up with Port. YUM!

  6. Oh, your market day is on Sunday? What a nice morning ritual--any time of the year but especially now!

  7. The dishes sounds sound delicious! French markets are the best!

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