Saturday, July 23, 2022

What's cooking in Paris?

Salad suggestions (l. to r.): Thai beef salad with peanuts. Salad of corn, rocket lettuce, crispy ham,  and parmesan. Cobb Salad.
Source: Marie Claire/Cuisine et Vins de France.

France, like most of Europe this week, is suffering from a disastrous heat wave, so the smart-alec answer to what's cooking? would be we're all cooking! And I imagine that family wanting to cook at home in Paris is adapting to the heat by avoiding anything in the oven. I feel very sorry for the overheated continent, and for the people in many other places that are sweltering this summer. 

Looking up a bit of current food advice to connect with the blog event Paris in July, I checked my favorite French cooking magazine, Marie Claire/Cuisine et Vins de France, which is of course now online. They are featuring many salads for hot weather. I recognized corn salad as having once been a favorite in French ready-made food counters called traiteurs -- a good place in Paris to get neat ideas for dinner, even if you just look in the shop windows and then buy some canned corn and veggies instead of paying their high prices. Or if you can afford the prices, these shops offer a great way to stay away from your kitchen.

I found the suggestion of a Cobb salad interesting: Marie Claire calls it an American classic. According to the LA Times, it was invented by Robert Cobb at the Brown Derby restaurant in Los Angeles. Cobb, one of the restaurant’s founders, was said to have whipped it up “from a grab-bag of whatever happened to be in the restaurant refrigerator one day in 1937.” (source)

More salads (l. to r.): Salad of tomatoes, peaches, burrata, and chimichurri sauce.
Cucumber and peanut salad with honey-chili sauce.
Salad of spinach, strawberry, peas and feta.

Some of these salads look new to me and very interesting. I am fascinated by the number of ideas the writers offer based on the cuisines of other countries like Thai beef salad or like chimichurri, which is from Argentina, with burrata, which is Italian. And of course Cobb salad. Or the spinach, feta, and strawberry salad which had its day in the sun here a couple of decades ago! 

Cuisine et Vins de France was one of my delightful discoveries during my long stays in Paris, and I continued to subscribe for several years afterwards. The magazine was started 70 years ago, and merged with Marie Claire a few years ago. I've written about this in the past, particularly for the annual blog event Paris in July. My most detailed post was:

Cuisine et Vins de France: A Classic French Cooking Magazine

The very first issue I ever bought: March, 1976.
Blog post © 2022 mae sander.



Beth F said...

It's salad weather for sure.

Iris Flavia said...

Oh, I had salad all last week. And I still have some in the fridge, sadly it cooled down here - but I hope summer will be back.
I grew up, btw, 8km from where Max and Moritz was written by Wilhelm Busch. My home-town has some statues of them - funny how small the world is!
Ingo can still recite most of the work, too. And the Nieces love the book, too.

Jenn Jilks said...

'We're all cooking!'
It's been hot here, as well. I find chefs so creative with salads. I am not!
(ツ) from Jenn Jilks , ON, Canada!

gluten Free A_Z Blog said...

With the heat wave we are having here in Philadelphia, I'm all for salads too. We are expecting a high of 99 degrees today!! The Cucumber and peanut salad with honey-chili sauce looks particularly interesting to me.It's amazing how many different types of salads we can make.

Tina said...

Great post and inspiring me in the kitchen.

eileeninmd said...


A salad on a hot summer day is the perfect meal for me. I love most salads.
The Spinach salads with strawberries and feta sounds yummy. Take care, enjoy your weekend.

DVArtist said...

Ohh give me salad. I can eat it just about any way it's served. This is a very nice post. Thanks and have a great day today.

Bill said...

It's salad time weather indeed.

Jeanie said...

Super interesting, Mae. My kind of post. I love a good salad for dinner. (It will never do as a main course for Rick... alas.) Tonight, though, we are having corn salad with our burgers and leftover birthday cake. No complaints!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

Cooking during a heat wave is oppressive. I too would turn to salads, freshly made from what's in my fridge, rather than store bought.

kwarkito said...

I heard it was salad time and heat wave in the US too.. Be careful and stay cool

Anne (cornucopia) said...

These look delicious and are great meals when it's hot.

Trin Carl said...

These salads look delish. I'm all one for the crouton and have attempted to make my own at home. I will take the balsamic vinigerette and thai salads are good as well. I got to talk a lot about food this week with a ride-share client who shared how great Korean fried chicken is and he shared with me a fav korean restaurant in MN.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

It's delightful to put together whatever is growing in my garden at this time of year and combine those ingredients with pecans from last fall and whatever else happens to be in the fridge. A Cobb salad of sorts, I guess.

I hope those in France are staying cool.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

i left a comment, but got a WHOOPS, which I haven't seen in awhile. I'll try to remember what I wrote before.

I know I commented on "We're all cooking," at least if we are above the equator.

I was delighted to see those salads and how you kept ordering the book for several years after you returned home. Reading French takes a different skill set than speaking it, so I'm sure it helped there, too.

Terrie said...

Yet another great post - good ideas for food w/o an oven! Here in Seattle we're finally getting some hot weather - 90+ all week which is not our usual summer temps. So definitely looking for something easy and cool to eat! :)
Thanks for the visit Mae.
Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

Marg said...

We are turning up the heaters down here!

Thanks for participating in Weekend Cooking!