Chasing Cézanne Carrot & Corn Salad

By • August 31, 2011 • 28 Comments

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Author Notes: The daughter and I sandwiched some time in Aix en Provence this summer in between Bologna and Paris. It's one of our very favorite places. It's also the birthplace of Paul Cézanne, a fact that is truly inescapable given the myriad of those round-cornered brass markers imbedded in sidewalks along the Cours Mirabeau and its environs. They tell you that you're following in his footsteps. They'll lead you to places of significance to him - his studio, his birthplace, shops selling chintzy reproductions. Well, of a cool-ish Sunday afternoon, we decided to follow them to the house where he was born, as it was in a part of town we hadn't explored yet. So many businesses are wonderfully closed on Sunday, and the streets and sidewalks off the tourist paths were nearly empty, really a beautiful sensation. We followed, we turned corners, we went up a hill, and finally came to a lovely yellow building on which was mounted a plaque announcing that it was indeed his birthplace. Was it open to the public? Mais, non. Now it's a day care center.

Wandering back along our path, we stopped for lunch at a little place - sandwiches and this stopped-us-in-our tracks salad. After we returned home, the daughter called me to double-check the ingredients; it was the first thing she made. Fast and simple? Mais, oui. Great flavors and textures? Fantastiques!
boulangere

Serves 2

  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen (thawed of course)
  • 1/2 red onion, fine dice
  • 1/2 cup your favorite home-made vinaigrette
  • 1/2 small avocado
  • Sea or kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  1. You can ribbon the carrots on a mandoline, but think rustic and simple. I really like just using a peeler. Hold each peeled carrot at the halfway point lengthwise. Begin shaving off half-carrot-length ribbons, holding the carrot in place until you get down to the core. You just want the sweet part of the carrot here. Turn it, shave it down to the core again in beautiful, wide ribbons. Repeat until you've gone all the way around. Flip it so you're holding the shaved core, and do the same with the other end. Feed the cores to your chickens, or send them to thirschfeld for his.
  2. Add the corn. Add the red onion. You can also use an equal amount of scallions instead.
  3. You can use a food processor or a mini chop to purée the avocado and vinaigrette, or you can just mash the avocado with a fork on a cutting board and whisk it into the vinaigrette. I like the fork-board-whisk method. Season it to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the dressing to the salad. Add the parsley. Toss to blend with a pair of tongs. If it seems a bit sticky, add some more vinaigrette. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This is one of the few things to which I don't add a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes.
  5. Divide between plates with some tongs, then with a spatula scrape out every last drop of the dressing. Raise a toast to Cézanne. And some very lucky children.
Jump to Comments (28)

Tags: avocado vinaigrette, carrots, Cézanne, corn

Comments (28) Questions (0)

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about 3 years ago Panfusine

You just set off my pavlovian reflex into overdrive!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

LOL!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And no eggs are involved!

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about 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Mmmmmm...delicious! One more corn dish before the season ends!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Quick and simple, you know? It works almost as well with frozen corn, too. Thanks, HK!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

By the way, it's not so good with canned corn - has that too cooked taste.

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about 3 years ago dymnyno

Love this...I make a "dressing" of mashed avocado and lemon juice and olive oil and use it on salads...the avocado is creamy and makes a great addition to salads.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, does it ever! Silky is the best description I can think of for it.

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about 3 years ago Brokenfoodie

Love the simplicity of this salad! Beautiful and even though I haven't made it yet, I can already taste it! Thanks for sharing.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Really, about a 10-minute salad. 15 if you shuck and strip real corn.

3-bizcard

about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This is a beautiful salad, and the photo looks like a Cezanne or maybe a salad he would create. I love the headnote, a day care, really?? Gorgeous in its simplicity. Keep those recipes and stories coming!! I can't wait to try this salad.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, seriously! We howled at having followed all those lovely brass markers to . . . .a day care. My students are making this next week with fresh corn, even better.

Cakes

about 3 years ago Bevi

I love this. And Aix is one of my all time favorite places. The little greenmarket (not on Cours Mirabeau) just stopped my heart, and the moss fountain is a fond memory. Have you read the MFK Fisher memoirs about Aix?

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Oh, my goodness yes! The first time my husband and went to Aix, we stayed at the Hotel Cardinale, where she had also stayed long before. And I believe I know your greenmarket off the Cours - the daughter and I had a studio apartment just a couple of blocks off it. If I could live in Aix, I would leave tomorrow.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'm about to post a photo of the warm moss fountain . . .

Cakes

about 3 years ago Bevi

If you decide to run a class there, I am on the list.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Well there's an idea to work on. Thank you so much!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

So sorry, Bevi, but for some reason the moss fountain photos won't load.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Still trying . . . .

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I couldn't get any of the moss fountain photos to post for some reason, but I posted one of one of the others. I'm seriously mulling over the class in Aix idea. Thank you for the suggestion!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

And I mean seriously thinking about how to bring it about.

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about 3 years ago LydiaPW

So perfect for summertime. Even if you (for some weird reason) don't feel like eating it, the colors are just so nice to look at.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I'll post a photo when I get home tonight. I wish I had one of us eating it there!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Argh! I know I took photos of some of those inset markers and of his house, and I can't find them on my computer. Do you have some?

Summer_2010_1048

about 3 years ago Midge

Love your headnotes and recipe writing. Can't wait to try this!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you so much, Midge. It's seriously simple. I could eat a boatload of it.

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about 3 years ago kdubu

Make this, eat this, it's amazing!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are too funny!