Garden fresh

During my recent blogging holiday, I had many delicious meals: at home, with friends, in restaurants, and at festivals …

On a day out with friends in Perpignan, I went to Restaurant La Galinette, following the recommendation of one of my guests (thank you, Tove!!).  Christophe Comes, the chef proprietor of the restaurant, has a potager of 3 hectares which he cultivates with the help of his father.  The produce from this vegetable garden plays a starring role on the menu!

La Galinette has a star in the Guide Michelin – my friends and I decided to order the tasting menu!  Without further ado, here are the food pictures – :

Salmonejo de tomates “Green Zebra”, basilic pourpre, feta.

For the Salmonejo, a cold tomato soup was poured into the plate – it was so tempting to eat that I totally forgot to take another picture!! 🙂

Collection de nos tomates anciennes; huile de l’hort et condiments

The collection of heritage tomatoes included Black Krim and Ananas, and the plate was as pretty as a picture!  It also tasted divine.

It still looked like a (modern art) picture when there was nothing left!!

Saumon sauvage a peine cuit, oseille de Belleville, concombre epineux et pain noir.

Wild salmon served on a sorrel puree, spiny cucumber and black bread.

Vive sauvage de Mediterranee, fine brandade de morue, jus de piperade au chorizo.

Wild sting fish (greater weever), served with salt cod puree and piperade sauce (made with sweet bell peppers and chorizo).

Epaule d’agneau catalan confite, pulpe d’aubergines “di Fierenze”

Slow-cooked shoulder of Catalan lamb, surrounded by various preparations made with aubergines: roasted, deep-fried in panko crust, braised, and puréed.

Pasteque rafraichie d’agastache anisee, sorbet melon “piel de sapo”

A generous slice of watermelon topped with candied melon and melon sorbet – very refreshing!

Peches “duras” d’Ille sur Tet, idee d’une melba

A take on peach melba, made with “duras” peaches from Ile sur Tet, with raspberry sauce and peach and vanilla sorbets.  The berries at the front of the picture are sugar frosted redcurrants.

This was a very memorable meal, every course as delicious as the previous/next!  If you are in Perpignan you should definitely try this restaurant!  If you are not already there, perhaps you want to plan a visit – it’s a wonderful town to explore!  The lunch menu is priced at €25 for three courses, the tasting menus are €48 for six courses and €54 for eight courses, served for lunch or dinner.  La Galinette is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday.  Reservations are recommended!

I leave you with a few random pictures taken in Perpignan:

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Take the short way home

A few years ago I came across the concept of Circuit Court, which I think may translate as Locavores in English. It means eating locally produced food, and, in the case of Circuit Court, buying it directly from the producers. There was a regular spot not all that far away and at the time I made an effort to go on a regular basis, but somehow it all fizzled out for me. That was until about a month ago, when I was handed a leaflet by Valerie Tubau (of Le Jardin de Valerie) in St Chinian market. She’d managed to get a new venue organised in Agel, just a few doors away from where she lives and works. The mayor of the village had kindly agreed to lend the village hall for the markets every other Thursday, and an association was formed to run the project.

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I went along last week to check it out, and it is a very interesting project. The products on offer depend very much on what is in season, and what can be grown locally at the time of year – so no strawberries or French beans here in the winter! But there are many delicious vegetables to be had right now – and more! On the day I went, in addition to Valerie’s vegetables, there was organic wine from Domaine Gabelas, honey from La Caunette, cheese from Bois Bas near Minerve, bread from Ferrals la Montagne, cakes from Agel, fresh pasta from Ouveillan, safran from Bize-Minervois, olives and olive oil from Argeliers, charcuterie from La Salvetat, meat, syrups, pates,  jams and jellies, and more which I can’t remember. The producers may vary from one market to the next, but the common thread remains the same: locally produced food, to be bought direct from the producer. For some items, such as meat, stocks are limited and orders need to be placed in advance of the market.

The market takes place in the village hall in Agel (34210) every other Thursday from 5pm to 7pm. Future dates are as follows:

19 December 2013

9 and 23 January 2014

6 and 20 February 2014

6 and 20 March 2014

For information you can e-mail circuits.courts34@gmail.com – I’m sure the organisers would prefer communications to be in French where possible.

P.S.  The chocolate and caramel tarts were delicious!  Worth the trip alone 😉