Winter is just about here. And no, it doesn’t have to suck. True, there’s not much – if any – snow in Paris – which is something I miss. (When we’ve had it, it makes Paris more luminous and pretty.) But there’s no shortage of cold. In addition to being the time to unpack all one’s winter gear, and sadly pack up the t-shirts and sandals, it’s also time to use all those bitter greens, like Belgian endive, chicory, and radicchio, at the markets.

You can make salads out of them, you can roll them up with ham and cheese for a gratin, you can wilt chicorée rouge de trévise (shown above) and toss the leaves with whole wheat pasta, red pepper flakes, garlic, olive oil, and bacon, and you can make risotto with bacon and radicchio or simmer radicchio with farro. Escarole leaves can be the base of an Italian-style soup with beans and meatballs. And by some miracle of nature, they go perfectly well with winter fruits, like oranges, tangerines, and pears. Romain was pretty skeptical when he saw me tossing tangerine segments in a salad of escarole, chives, and Roquefort recently, but the bright-tasting fruits went spectacularly well with the crunchy leaves and creamy/tangy fromage, and now he’s doing it, too.

Otherwise, I’ve been holed up indoors, catching up on Stranger Things; Season 3 is terrific, but I had to abandon Russian Doll after episode 5 since I couldn’t tell where it was going, except around and around. (In spite of my affection for actress/writer Natasha Lyonne.) I’m also reading Stand Facing the Stove, a methodically researched book about Irma Rombauer and her daughter, Marion Rombauer Becker, who wrote the Joy of Cooking with hardly any experience under their apron belts. It’s a pretty deep-dive, documenting the turbulent times the cookbook has been through, so I’m alternating it with reading things on the internet. Here are some of the most interesting things I’ve read recently…

-Dream of working in a Parisian bakery? Sain boulangerie offers three days of classes. Mitigating factor: Classes start at…4:30 am. (I presume coffee is included) (Atelier de Sens)

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