French Classic

This week I invited my French friend, chef and owner of Le Petit Gourmand to come and make mischief in the kitchen with me! Our theme was a Parisian Spring picnic. Every time I am with Guinevere she not only inspires my cooking imagination, but she also treats me to a little whimsy of Paris right here in Nashville. As we danced around the kitchen to Dierks Bentley’s new country album, Black, (Guinevere knows all the words!) we made classic Parisian sandwiches, omelets with fresh herbs from my garden, several colorful salads, and my favorite, a Tarte Citron for dessert. The day was what I call pure soul joy: a little country, a little French, yummy food and my favorite people laughing together on a quilt in my yard. It doesn’t get much better than this. My dream is to capture this joy in a cookbook one day!
If I could hop inside a Time Machine and return to a happy moment in my past it might be the day in Paris many summers ago sitting in the Jardin de Rodin, enjoying the French classic baguette of ham, emmenthal cheese, gherkins and smeared with salted French butter. I was with my husband, a baby in a stroller close by, gazing up at Rodin’s, The Thinker. It was another one of those simple, delicious moments of joy!


Thanks to Guinivere and her amazing French market and Café, Little Gourmand, we recreated the moment in my back yard. Together we made the Classic Parisien or as the French say, the “Jambon-Beurre” on homemade baguettes with Parisian ham, gherkins and butter, the Paris de Luxe with butter, Parisian Ham and French Brie, Le Lyonnais with butter, salami and gherkins, the Brittany with lettuce, tomato, tuna, mayo, onion, capers, salt and pepper and my personal favorite, the Saint Tropez with extra virgin olive oil from Provence, tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil, salt & pepper.
Can I just say heaven!
With great ingredients, these sandwiches give that French je ne sais quoi to a Spring picnic. I bought the Emmenthal cheese and French butter at Whole Foods. You can purchase the baguettes at Petit Gourmand. Or even better, invite friends to join you in the rosemary and lavender perfumed courtyard at Little Gourmand’s café Monday through Saturday for one of Guinevere’s masterpieces! The secret to her delicious sandwiches is the dough. Guinivere imports it from Paris and bakes the baguettes fresh every morning. (She also does croissants and French coffee every Saturday morning!)
What makes a gourmand memory is the food of course but also the company! I would like to thank my mom, sister, best bud Anne, new friend Regina and Guinivere for making my Monday! And thanks to Dierks for the stellar musical backdrop. More fun recipes to come!
For all you Nashvillians headed to Steeplechase this weekend, call and book your Steeplechase box lunch with Guinivere! She will create a special picnic lunch of sandwich, chips, and a delectable French tarte! Reserve at 615-522-7134.
Bon appétit!

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