This week we went to Le Logis du Pin, an excellent source of outstanding fruits and legumes in the Alpes-Maritime. Stepping into the market is like entering an old-fashioned General Store: rough wood floor and panelling topped with long, cloth-covered tables filled with artfully arranged baskets and crates of colourful fruits and vegetables. Every trip here becomes my new favourite.
The season’s greenery is always right at your fingertips: fresh herbs, hanging plants and cut-flowers. The goods of local farms stock the refrigerator: fresh lamb sausages; homemade pastas; local milk, cheeses and yoghurt; as well as wine, cider and beer. The best small bits are tucked in the corner near the cashier: fresh eggs, olives, dried fruit, local honey and sweets.
On the way out is a jolly gentleman who sells a wide range of cheeses from his refrigerated cheese truck, and another who sells homemade smoked salmon and a fresh rotisserie choice of the day, usually chicken, duck or pork. Everything you need and simply delish!
Our haul this week included late season tomatoes in red, green and gold; small round courgettes; gorgeous French mountain pears and end of summer nectarines; ripe figs; fresh basil (anyone for pesto??) and locally-made pasta; and a small leg of lamb!
The most interesting treasure was a primitive looking bouquet of small, purple-ish artichokes. Last week I had seen several older women buying them up, so this week I pounced on them when I saw just one bunch left in the basket! Wi-fi being limited in the mountains, I had to wait until I got home to learn about them.
They’re called Artichaut Poivrade, a.k.a. Pepper Artichoke; they’re a type of baby artichoke found this time of year in Provence (thanks, Behind the French Menu).
Being new to this variety, I opted to cook them alongside salmon in an Asian-inspired marinade featuring ginger, soy, lemon, honey and more. The result: scrumptious, tangy, and a definite repeat! Check out my cooking notes and pics for Gingery Artichaut Poivrade in Simply Eau-de-Vie’s Experimental Kitchen!