AN AVOCADO EPIPHANY

Before I established that I was, in fact as well as spirit, an international bon vivant, I was an Ohioan. Europeans confuse that state with Iowa and Idaho, and I can understand why. At least as far as avocados go. In the Midwest it used to be impossible to understand the avocado. When I lived there one could only find rock hard, tasteless, practically inedible examples of this noble fruit. They were not a delightful treat. They were weapons. Now even in Ohio you can find mature, ripe avocados without going South or to California. But I never tasted a truly perfect avocado until I went to Mexico. They are magnificent in that climate. Here along the Mediterranean, they are pretty darn good. They come from Spain and Morocco, mostly, and they are very popular. and mostly good.

I understand that, the rest of the year, Cannes is a sleepy little village. I have only seen the madness of the throngs who come to the festival, so it’s hard for me to believe. But, besides the few ‘locals’ who endure year round, drinking Pernod or Absinthe to endure the bitter winds, the other evidence that this is truly rural France is the existence of an old covered market in the center of town. These handsome covered markets are in every small town in France there are even a couple 19th century examples remaining in Paris. The only difference between those in Normandy and those in Provence are the ingredients. The produce, the charcuterie, the cheeses, the wines and pastries are all fresh, seasonal local specialties with their own distinctive accents.

One woman at the Cannes market has a range of home made dried herb blends, different ones for different cooking uses. Everyone knows nike air max tn herbes de Provence, but this little old lady has a special mix for roast chicken that is extraordinary. I haven’t been able to duplicate it yet, but I think the mystery ingredients are summer savory and a pinch of lavender.

Avocados are not local, of course. Nothing in this pleasant salad evokes Cannes. I created it when I was told I’d have some vegetarians at an event.

It seems every single American I meet here has a special dietary need. The French are not very interested in being lactose or gluten intolerant, but it is starting. My worst nightmare was a California guest who announced at dinner she was on the ‘nightshade diet.’ That was a new one to me. She explained that she would only eat things that grew by moonlight. My eyebrows remained arched until I could search Google to find that such ingredients included potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplants.

A ‘composed’ salad like this always pleases. I like the variety of nike aire max ingredients and flavors. And the slightly architectural look. If air max bw pas cher there are any vegetarians, nike air max air max pas cher bw they can just pick the Bresaola off. Phfft!

Fresh chopped herbs, such as chervil or tarragon

Halve the avocados, remove the pit, and peel. Cut a few crescent slices for decoration and cut the rest into half inch chunks. Place in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. Peel and halve the papayas. Scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh into chunks also. Add to the avocado pieces. Add the chopped shallots and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Peel the grapefruit, then cut along the membranes to separate the segments. Squeeze any juice from the membranes and add to the dressing.

Toss the salad greens with enough of the dressing to coat, then divide the greens onto plates. Place a mound of the air max 95 avocado papaya mixture in the center of each plate. A dandy way to do this is to press the mixture into a teacup or ramekin, then turn it out onto the plate. Decorate each plate with grapefruit segments and scatter with the pine nuts and tarragon leaves. Cut the Bresaola or ham into strips and arrange over the mound. Stand the asparagus spears at attention around the center mound, tips meeting above the middle. Drizzle nike air max 90 pas cher over the rest of the dressing and serve.