Paris Grocery seattle

March 5, 2015

Bonjour Mes Amis,

I just returned from a four day trip to the Bay area where I was astounded to see all the citrus & avocados at the farmer’s market.

Before hopping on our plane, we made a pilgrimage to the San Francisco Ferry Building where I visited Cow Girl Creamery, ate Hog Island oysters, and lunched at the Slanted Door.

But honestly, I think my favorite bite was lunch in west Berkeley at Bartavelle, right next to Acme Bread &Kermit Lynch’s shop. The meal spoke of how quality ingredients can make something simple extraordinary. I got a salad with pickled vegetables and one of their famed toasts–Acme Pain au Levain with avocado, olive oil, sea salt, lemon and marash pepper and an ‘almost cooked’ fresh farm egg. I can’t wait to try & replicate this at home…

à la vôtre !
Catherine Reynolds

Haricot Tarbais Bean $2.75 packet

We found out last year that Tarbais beans do indeed like growing in the NW! And with this weather we’ve been having you can sow now…
“(Pole), 90 days. Plump snowy-white variety has been grown for centuries around the village of Tarbais, in southwestern France. Used primarily as a dry bean, including its traditional forte, as a main ingredient of cassoulet. Skins unusually thin and delicate, lower starch content than other types, and of remarkable tenderness!”

FOCUS ON SAINT-JOSEPH
Saint Joseph is a region on the right bank of the Rhone, known for its refined Syrah. The best have a spiciness complimented by elegant violets & minerality.
“…the greatest, most distinctive expressions of syrah, I believe, are from the granite soils of the northern Rhône…For my money, the best combination of value and distinctiveness is currently found in St.-Joseph, a long, narrow region that follows the sinuous north-south twists of the Rhône River.” -Eric Asimov, The New York Times

Saint Cosme St. Joseph 2011 $32

I love the elegance of Saint Cosme’s wines…
“Offers lovely perfume, with black tea and singed anise notes leading the way, followed by fleshy but restrained blackberry coulis, currant paste and plum pate de fruit flavors. Long and velvety through the finish, with a tobacco leaf accent echoing. ” -92 points, Wine Spectator

Andre Perret St. Joseph 2011 $41

Andre Perret grew up in the Rhone Valley, studied biology but felt cooped up in the lab. He studied enology & returned home. His goal is to make fresh, structured wines, in “a sort of Burgundian style”, says importer Kermit Lynch.
“A brilliant, seductive, gorgeous offering is the 2011 St.-Joseph. Its deep ruby color is accompanied by plenty of strawberry, crushed rock and spring flower notes intermixed with a mineral component. A luscious texture as well as a forward, evolved style suggest consumption over the next 4-5 years is warranted.” -90 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

CHEESE OF THE WEEK

Brie de Nangis $23.99 lb

This luscious brie comes from southwest of Paris and the wheel I just got is divine. It almost disappeared from existence, but Fromagerie Rouzaire saved it. This is ultra-buttery brie with a lick of salt at the finish. Pair with Sauvignon Blanc, Beaujolais or Merlot and prepare to swoon.

Favols Confit Fleurs de Violettes $8.50

This lovely condiment comes from the Aquitaine region in  SW France & uses the simplest ingreidents: cane sugar, water, pectin, violet flower, citric acid, concentrated blackberry juice. Adds French flair to cheese or foie gras.

Les Lauribert La Cuvee de Lisa Rose 2013, Vin de Pays de Vaucluse $8.99

The price is lower and this rose is just as delicious as ever. I bought 6 bottles for myself…
The vineyards of Vaucluse are split between the southern Rhone valley and northern Provence, known for Chateauneuf de Pape and Tavel. 100% delightfully fresh Grenache that I will be drinking year round. The winery suggests pairing this with grilled fish & fennel. Sounds good to me!

Camargue-Style Risotto adapted from a recipe by Alain Coumont of Le Pain Quotidien

2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
10 cups water
3 cups Camargue red rice
1 thyme sprig
1 bay leaf
Camargue salt
1 1/2 cups pitted Lucques olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
3 Tbs lemon juice
Tbs grated lemon zest
Freshly ground pepper
4 oz aged goat cheese

In a large saucepan, heat the 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8 minutes. Add the water, rice, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Stir 1 tablespoon of salt into the rice. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has been absorbed, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the bay leaf and thyme. Stir in the olives, parsley, chopped basil, lemon juice and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the rice into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and garnish with the goat cheese and basil leaves; serve.
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