A Taste of Spring, Southern France

I interrupt the Nepal travel log for a brief update on life in France.

Although this weekend has been unseasonably cold the Saturday market in Uzès was bustling. Vendors who we haven’t seen since last fall appeared and there was a general improvement in the quality and range of produce, including the first local strawberries. To celebrate the changing of the seasons I made one of my favorite salads – strawberries and toasted pecans with a simple vinaigrette*. Alongside a crusty a loaf of French bread and a delightful local chevre, it makes the perfect spring lunch.

*To make the vinaigrette I use equal parts good extra virgin olive oil, vinegar (in France I use noix or walnut for a lighter taste; in the States balsamic works fine) and orange juice. The orange juice adds a touch of sweetness and cuts down the calories by replacing some of the oil with the juice. Wisk together with a bit of mustard to bind the ingredients.

A salad tip I learned in France is to make the salad dressing in the bowl that you are going to serve the salad in. Then place the rest of the ingredients on top and mix the salad just before serving to keep the lettuce fresh. In the case of the strawberry salad I put the strawberries in the dressing, the lettuce on top and the nuts on top of the lettuce. This keeps all the ingredients as crisp as possible until serving time.

And back to Nepal.

For links to all the posts in this series see the South of France page.

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