Monday, September 17, 2007

Le Maraîcher

The past couple of Fridays I've gone to the market in nearby Montrichard. Our local market in Saint Aignan is on Saturday mornings. But two weeks ago we had some business at our bank in Montrichard so we took the opportunity to stroll through the market.

One side of the bag they put my beans in. The other side is below.

I wanted to buy michelets, fresh shelling beans, since this is the season for them and I've never had them before. Sometimes they're called cocos, or cocos de Paimpol. Here in the Touraine region they're called michelets.

Eat vegetables ; it's good for your health! Integrated organic pest control ; steam disinfection. From our garden to your table. Tarnier Company. Green grocers. Seasonal vegetables harvested at Beaulieu-les-loches.

Among the green grocers at the market in Montrichard are these folks, from whom I bought the beans. These vendors don't sell at our market and they had really nice looking michelets. They were so good that I went back last Friday for more !

In French, le maraîcher is one who grows vegetables for the purpose of selling them.

After shelling the beans (about a kilo of shelled beans), I simmered them for about an hour and a quarter in a broth made by sautéing lardons along with diced carrots, celery, and onions, adding three liters of water, fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano, bay leaves) from our garden, whole black peppercorns and a few allspice berries. The broth simmered for about 25 minutes before the beans went in.

The pot of beans garnished with saucisses de Toulouse and Montbéliard.

To me, the difference between fresh beans and dried beans is like the difference between fresh pasta and dried pasta. It's hard to explain, but it has as much to do with texture as with taste.


  1. Yes, texture and taste! I like fresh beans. One of the things I love, is a salad mixing fresh beans and green beans. Ever tried that?

  2. claude, no I haven't tried that but it sounds really good ! I'll put it on the list.


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