15 July 2008

Vegetables at the market

Typical French market display
— June 20, 2008, in Montrichard —

Summer at the market means piles of beautiful vegetables. In fact, in the picture above there are summer vegetables like artichokes, tomatoes, and bell peppers, but also cold-weather vegetables like endives, potatoes, carrots, and leeks. In June, you can get it all.

Tomates cerises en grappes

The cherry tomatoes come from the town of Chinon in Touraine and are almost worth their weight in gold — €21.95 a kilo, and that's nearly $16.00 a pound in U.S. money. I guess they are worth it...

Tomates à cuire

Personally, I'd probably go for the big fat cooking tomatoes in the second picture. They're just €1.00 a kilo. I bet they'd be good raw in a salad too, if they were trimmed up right. The cauliflowers just behind the tomatoes isn't the prettiest I've ever seen, but they are letting them go for just a euro apiece.

Têtes d'ail

You want garlic with those tomatoes?

Pommes de terre

In the picture above, the sign doesn't go with the potatoes. It shows the price of the radishes, pictured below. They are €1.10 a bunch. The classic way to enjoy radishes is with salt, butter, and good bread. As for the potatoes, I think I'd steam or boil them and eat them cold with home-made mayonnaise.

Bottes de radis

Below, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant would make a good ratatouille. These have to have come from gardens or farms farther south, because in June we don't yet have produce like this in the Loire Valley. Here at La Renaudière, where we put in our garden a little late this year, we don't expect any tomatoes or eggplant much before mid-August. Our growing season runs from May 15 to about mid-October.

Tomates, poivrons, et aubergines

Actually, we bought eggplant and tomatoes at the supermarket a few days ago. Today's lunch is going to be a gratin using those, onions, and some yellow squash I just took out of the freezer. With olive oil and mozzarella cheese. Here's a link to a post I did on the subject a couple of years ago.


  1. Wonderful to visit your market. The word "bountiful" always comes to mind when I see what the earth produces, be it flowers or vegetables. I love to bite in a tomato, eat it like a fruit. The big ones are tempting, aren't they? Not very elegant but yummy.

    I linked to your "Gratin d'aubergines et de tomates." You make it so easy. Someone said you should write a cookbook. Well, you did! It's in your blog...You allowed me, once, to print your photos of villages. I also print the recipes of Saint-Aignan that I feel I could do. I have a special folder for them, with Walt and Ken's pictures on the cover.:)

    Now to market! Still need a companion and a cane. But finally able to cook...and to eat!!!

  2. Hi Claudia. It's so nice to see you back commenting on Ken's blog. I enjoy your enthusiasm and appreciation for everything. We missed you while you were recuperating.

    ...Susan (not S and Simon)

  3. groans of envy.

  4. Fabulous vegetable photos, Ken. I always love to get a glimpse of what's in your market.

    Claudia, it's good to see your comments again. And congratulations on your progress. Happy cooking and eating!

  5. Those are pretty pricey tomatoes. I kind of regret missing out on summer cooking in France, but enjoy the seafood here -- and of course my Mom's food!

    Hope you're having a great summer. I'm kind of floating in and out of blogging...summertime...


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