FrenchieGreg Marchand earned the nickname "Frenchie" from Jamie Olivier. Marchand was the only Frenchman in the kitchen at Oliver's restaurant, Fifteen. Then he took off for New York. Then his wife got pregnant and they made the mature decision to leave New York and go to Paris with no job and a dream.
He found a little spot on a back alley, no bank would lend him a dime, his friends thought he was crazy to pick this little out of the way place, and there was a baby! But Marchand persevered and it didn't take long for the most jaded of Parisian eaters to find Frenchie.
A few years later he took over another spot on the street and added a wine bar. Then he expanded the wine bar. Then he talked some of his favorite purveyors to move onto the street. Then he got asked to write a cookbook. As goes the old movie adage goes, "If you build it, they will come."
Frenchie is the epitome of the food that made France famous. It is simply done, beautifully executed, and good to eat. This simple, easy to put together salad is a fine example of the food at Frenchie. Marchand says he would eat this every day. We would, too.
Roasted Carrot, Orange, and Avocado Salad
For The Roasted Carrots
2 bunches (about 1 pound) baby carrots1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds1 thyme sprig 1 garlic clove, crushedOlive oilSalt
For the Salad
2 -3 navel oranges2 avocados3 cilantro sprigs Juice of 1 lime, or to tasteOlive oilFleur de selPiment d'Espelette
The roasted carrots:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Trim the carrots and put them in a bowl.
Toast the coriander and fennel seeds in a small dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes; take care not to burn them. Let cool, then coarsely crush the seeds with a mortar and pestle or under a heavy skillet.
Add the toasted spices to the carrots, along with the thyme, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt, and toss well with your hands. Transfer the carrots to a baking dish and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Set aside.
With a sharp knife, peel the oranges down to the flesh, removing all the bitter white pith, then slice into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. You need 16 slices.Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, peel, and cut lengthwise into thick slices. Remove the cilantro leaves from the stems.
Combine the carrots, oranges, and avocados in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with the cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, fleur de sel, and a pinch of piment d’Espelette and toss gently. Arrange on salad plates and serve.
Nothing would make us happier than to live around the corner from Frenchie. Since we don't, this lovely cookbook will have to do.