Breaking Bread: Isabelle’s offerings at Marché Malakoff, Paris

It’s been a while since I put up a post about food. There are reasons for this silence, serious reasons which have nothing to do with an aging stomach and more with our obsession with food–its excess but also its deprivations, its pleasures but also its harmful effects. Obsession and denial are two sides of the same coin, so it makes no difference what we say about food, and all of us say mostly the same thing, the locally grown groupies included.

But I had to break my self-imposed silence this morning, when I received these lovely pictures from my friend Ariadne, who lives and buys food and cooks in Paris.  She was at our favorite marché, the Malakoff, and she sent some pictures from Isabelle’s stand.  So, here are the pictures and a couple of very, very simple recipes–with apologies to my friend, who is a much more accomplished and erudite cook than I could ever be! The recipes are for fennel salad (the way the Florentines make it, I am told) and Marcella Hazan’s fried zucchini.

Zucchini recipe:  Make a batter with cold water and flour; the consistency should not be soupy; it should stick to the zucchini, but lightly.  Cut the zucchini in oval-shaped pieces of half an inch thickness.  Dip in the batter, fry lightly in vegetable oil until the flour mixture begins to turn golden.  Remove onto paper towels.  Consume with red pepper paste or garlic paste.

Fennel salad:  Remove the green part of the fennel.  (Put it in a cup and use it to decorate your kitchen table.)  Slice the fennel very, very thin. You may need one of those little gizmos that do the trick and turn the beautiful herb into a weave of twirl and curl.  Then,mix fresh lemon juice and olive oil and pour it on the fennel.  That’s it.  It is a heavenly salad, alone or in the company of fish or couscous.

And because the last word should be Isabelle’s, here’s another picture of her world.

But wait, there’s a recipe for sauted green beans with onions and potatoes!  Next time!

[Merci beaucoups, Ariadne et Isabelle!]


About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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