August 2015 Newsletter By the time you read this, I will be on vacation. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness vacation by the ocean, with sun, sand, and p

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August 2015 Newsletter

Dandelion Pesto Recipe-2

By the time you read this, I will be on vacation. Yes, a real, honest-to-goodness vacation by the ocean, with sun, sand, and perhaps a few drinks nearby. And lobster rolls, too! July was a hot in Europe as well as stateside, and it's nice to have a summer break and enjoy the ocean. The Seine is lovely, but it ain't the beach!

Summer to me means pesto, and I've been hoarding basil whenever I come across a big bunch of it. In France, pistou is often made without nuts, but with some tomatoes in it, which helps is meld into the classic soupe au pistou, a summery vegetable-based soup that you swirl some pistou into it.

Dandelion Pesto Recipe 4

It's also the time for summer fruits and berries. In June, my Paris tour group did a class with a terrific French chef in Paris from La Cuisine. In addition to some friendly, cross-cultural bantering, we shopped a Paris market together and he suggested doing a dessert with fresh blueberries for our group. (If you find them at a market in Paris, they are very precious and sell for around €4 for a plastic box with about a dozen blueberries lolling around in it.)

To Americans, blueberries are plentiful and relatively inexpensive - although I find the ones you get at the farmers' markets in America much, much better than the ones sold in supermarkets. While on vacation in the states, I am getting my fill of corn-on-the-cob, lobster rolls (which I prefer Connecticut-style, warm and buttery - hold the mayo!), and piles of fried clam bellies. I also introduced Romain to steamers (clams), but they're not really a thing across most of America, just in New England. I had some in California once that were full of sand because the cooks didn't realize that they needed a good cleaning.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro-5

For those visiting Paris this summer, or in the future, on my blog I wrote up two classic Parisian bistros. The first is Le Trumilou, a no-frills bistro that's budget friendly and smack dab in the middle of Paris. It's open daily and has a terrace, which can get a bit noisy, but it still a nice place for a summer evening dinner, along with glasses of crisp rosé and plates of frites.

Dandelion Pesto Recipe-3

Le Bon Georges is another welcoming bistro in Paris, which offers steak frites and a good wine list, in a traditional bistro setting. Unlike other bistros, however, the accent is on well-sourced ingredients, from the meat used for the steaks, to the vegetables, culled from specialty growers in the Paris region.

For those of you cooking at home, I shared a recipe for a cherry clafoutis, inspired by a famous French chef who passed away, as well as a French-fried chicken, cooked in duck fat.

I also revisited a favorite cocktail: the gin and tonic. I had forgotten how great they are and even made homemade tonic water, after a visit to the herbalist in Paris, to use as a mixer. Vegetarians got their turn with Faux gras, a slight-of-the-hand take on foie gras, made with lentils and champignons de Paris.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro-6

Lastly, it's a little early but I'll be in San Francisco In Conversation with Yotam Ottolenghi at the end of October. He's a super-interesting guy and I'm a fan of him, as well as his restaurants and cookbooks. It should be a fun evening with us together on stage. Tickets seem to be going quickly so if interested, get yours sooner rather than later. Since it's a quick trip for me, it'll likely be my only appearance in the Bay Area.

That's it for this month. I hope that you all enjoy your summer vacations, and have lots of good things to eat and drink, too!

- David

My Paris Kitchen hi res
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