Salads, Oh La La!

Ok, since coming to Paris, I have eaten, well, a LOT. I have been trying to eat healthy (croissants are healthy, right?). But, really, I’m on va-ca-tion. If I want a macroon for breakfast, I’m eating it.
Still, I have found some lovely spring salad ideas that I plan on exporting back to North Carolina. The French may have duck confit and boeuf Bourgogne, but they can also rock some lettuce and fresh veggies. Yum! Here are two of my new favorites:

Salad Avec Chèvre Chaud

This salad was AMAZING! Spring field greens topped with small amounts of walnuts, pumpkin seeds, golden raisins, chopped apricots, and roasted cherry tomatoes. The whole thing is topped with thin slices of prosciutto and two little toast triangles with warm, bacon wrapped goat cheese circles. The dressing was a very light vinaigrette. I had this at Le Preau in the Marais, and I will think of them when I make this at home!


Salad Marche

This market salad was delicious and nourishing on a cold, windy, rainy Paris afternoon. I had this at the restaurant Le Week End, just off the Champs-Élysée, which sounded like a place no decent food would present itself. We were all incredibly surprised. Romaine lettuce with a light vinaigrette was topped with a thin slice of cheese and a thin slice of prosciutto. The salad was surrounded by a stack of thinly sliced tomato, toast with a small chunk of Brie, a fried egg and some fried potato slices. No need for dessert or anything else. Just this salad and a glass of wine. I can totally do this at home and maybe sub asparagus for the potatoes. Yummy, yum, yum!


New Favorite Place in the World–Le Parc Aux Cerfs


Oh, duck confit, I love you.

Seriously. Eating on vacation, especially in a new country, can influence you and bring you new surprises. Like oxtail and escargo, and really high dining bills. Thanks to Trip Advisor, we found a wonderful, family-owned restaurant on rue Vavin in Paris (2 blocks from our apartment) that is both amazing for the quality of its food and for the fairness of its prices. Le Parc Aux Cerfs is one of those cozy bistros you hope to find in Paris–great food, comfortable environment, staff not afraid of poor French language skills–you know, all the things that make great memories! We were hungry after a day of museums and walking, so we each ordered the three course dinner–entree, feature and dessert for $37.00 per person. That might seem like a lot, but in Paris land, that is extremely good. Fifteen minutes into our dinner, Ellie declared, “Well, looks like we’ve found a new favorite place!”

I started with an artichoke heart and tomato couloirs salad that had Gorgonzola cheese sprinkles over top. It was delicious–light and refreshing. The tomato coulis was spread on a home made cracker-like wafer and served on top of the salad. Soooo good. Not sure I’ll be able to replicate this at home!


My plan was to be more adventuresome with my feature, but the daily plate du jour was my favorite–duck confit with duck fat potatoes. Sold!!! The crispy duck and potatoes were decadent and flavorful. This is not fancy pants food–it is bistro cooking at it’s best.


While my tummy was urging me to skip dessert, of course I did not. I had a crumble of seasonal fruits with a struesal topping and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yum!!!


I have a lot more walking to do to walk all that off! I was glad to be eating seasonal foods that are also traditional. And wine. We had a lovely cotes de rhone wine that was far superior (and less expensive) than what I’ve had in the states. I have some serious penance to do, but I’ll save that for next week 🙂

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