France has style in abundance, we all know that. We see those ultra slim sharply dressed ladies in their impossibly high heels with the perfect pooch at their side and the latest ‘must have’ on their arm. The shop windows so artfully created, achingly chic and tempting our taste buds, wallet and hearts. The interiors with attention to detail in every square inch, books placed ‘just so’, perfect patterns, light creatively placed. Old monuments, wedding cake plaster work, details, abundance, so much artistry in what is around in every day.
Many people think of French food as seriously stylish, too complex and fancy for everyday life. I beg to differ. Real French food, is simplicity personified, it is seasonal and satisfying, very much in the moment.
I like the French attitude to food. The mindfulness of the small courses and lack of haste. The way eating is always treated as an event and not something akin to filling your petrol tank at the garage.
The sensuality of a crisp green salad sprinkled with homemade vinaigrette, the crunch of a fresh baguette and the soft creaminess of an aromatic cheese and maybe just one square of of the richest darkest chocolate make for fine dining on a homely yet satisfying scale. Quality over quantity, flavour over feasting.
Our attitude to eating is a reflection of our feelings of self worth or lack thereof.
If you take real pleasure in the preparation and presentation of even the simplest of food you are sending yourself a message that you yourself are worth this effort. You are not an after-thought in your hectic life, you are the star of your own show, and that is how it should be.
Keep it simple, keep it seasonal and enjoy the moment.
Here is a simple French Dressing, totally classic, nothing fancy, just right.
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon runny honey
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
- A mixture of salad leaves, I always have rockett for a bit of pepper power and I love baby spinach leaves, then anything goes once I have those two in place!
- Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a jam jar and shake well.
- Drizzle over the salad just before serving.
- This makes enough for 1 good sized salad for 1 person.