When in Rome, do as the Romans do. And when in Paris, do as Patricia Wells does. Welcome to our tried-and-true vacation strategy. When we want to eat well in Paris, there are only a handful of people whose advice we really trust. David Lebovitz? Yep. Julia Child? Mais oui. Ernest Hemingway? Well, maybe if we’re on a liquid diet. But vraiment, we wouldn’t head to Paris without Patricia Wells’ indispensable Paris-eats primer in hand. This newly released version updates her classic with more than 350 new entries (as well as many returning standards) sure to make your Paris sojourn agréable indeed. We’re forever in her debt for making our kids think we’re très cool for “discovering” Gyoza Bar during a family trip last summer. Which brings us to another vacation maxim: What happens in Paris…
As a reward for not spilling the beans to our kids, we’re sharing this recipe from Mon Vieil Ami on the Île Saint-Louis. Wells loves the restaurant for its “generous offering of main-course vegetable dishes”.
“If one is ever looking for inspiration for out-of-the-ordinary vegetable dishes to make at home, here is the place to go shopping,” she writes in The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris. “My version of this room-temperature dish has been on our home menu for years.”
The Food Lover’s Guide to Paris
The Best Restaurants, Bistros, Cafes, Markets, Bakeries, and More
By Patricia Wells
- 1 cup (250 ml) light cream or half-and-half
- ⅓ cup (125 ml) finely minced fresh tarragon, plus extra for garnish
- Fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces (125 g) fresh domestic mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned, and sliced lengthwise
- 1 cup (125 g) fresh or frozen peas, blanched and refreshed under cold running water
- Combine the cream and the tarragon in a small saucepan, and simmer over low heat gently for 3 minutes. Let cool.
- In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the mushrooms and sear until softened and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool.
- Combine the peas, mushrooms, and tarragon cream. Toss to blend. Season with the salt to taste. Garnish with the minced tarragon and serve.