We waited a whole week. We endured the absence of markets, the lack of people and life in general. Recluse we became, pacing up and down our loft.
And then it was Monday! Time to go to Van Meenen square and enjoy the bountiful of market life. With our canvas bags in tow we went to town.
Our first stop, the olive vendor. A french stand that brings natural olives, cured meats and sells wine. We always stop there first as they become the hotspot at “apéritif” hour.
And then nothing.
Elementerre, our organic fruit and vegetable stand was not there, our italian friends, not there, our flower guy, not there… Everyone was still on vacation. We were so broken hearted, we passed the few stands that did bravely show up, and went home with nothing but two small containers of olives.
Wednesday came around. Time for the Châtelain market. With a little fear in our belly and hope in our eyes, we grabbed our stack of bags and off we went again.
The market was there and it was busy. We ran to the organic vegetable stand, I needed reassurance! They were there and had brought with them all the magic of spring…
Wild, small, tender, bitter, sweet, all the little salad leaves I had not seen in years.
Growing up in Florence, I use to go to the Mercato di San Lorenzo. A big covered market with many small vendors. Come spring they would have an array of different salads that had so many flavors and spices, I never forgot the taste.
This week, I am sharing with you a simple salad where the bitter spicy leaves are met with the pungent wild chives, sweet carrots and crunchy almonds. The sauce a simple mix of spicy Tuscan olive oil and lemon, salt and fresh pepper. Sometimes a great salad is just the perfect dish. I was tempted to add a nice aged goat cheese I bought at the market but I opted to have it on the side instead. I really wanted to savor the salad and the complex flavors of the wild greens.
Wash your greens well, dry them gently in a salad spinner or kitchen rag.
Place them in a bowl with sliced carrots, cut chives and chopped almonds.
Make the dressing by adding olive oil and lemon juice a little salt to an old jam jar, close tightly and shake it until smooth. Add to the bowl and toss very lightly.
Wild greens with budding chives, purple carrots and Almonds
Bon Appetit and enjoy the week-end