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My plane was taxiing to the gate at LAX when I got the text from Keith, "Bad news in the world.... Major terrorist attack in Paris." We'd returned from a month-long stay just 5 days earlier.
So many emotions hit me at once: disbelief, anger, fear, sadness. How could this happen? What if we'd been there? Why would anyone do such a thing?
These are questions without answers. They are questions that I doubt the people of Paris will dwell on. They have enjoyed great prosperity and endured great hardship since the city was established in the 3rd century BC. I perceive Parisians as sturdy but kind; peaceful but strong.
The response of Antoine Leiris, a man whose wife was murdered in the attacks, is one example:
Friday night you took away the life of an exceptional human being, the love of my life, the mother of my son...I will not give you the privilege of hating you. You certainly sought it, but replying to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance which made you into what you are. You want me to be frightened, that I should look into the eyes of my fellow citizens with distrust, that I sacrifice my freedom for security. You lost. I will carry on as before."
And these attacks are not what I'll think of when I remember Paris.
I'll remember laughing with the man in the cheese line at our feeble attempts to talk about cheese without a shared language; I'll remember the man who went out of his way to help us when we'd lost our way in the park; the woman who stopped to explain why a garden gate wouldn't open despite our efforts, "It's been locked for two years over a silly argument with the owner," she explained while smiling and shaking her head.
I'll remember the couple who opened their hearts and home to us, inviting us to choose a bottle of wine from their cellar then serving us an unforgettable meal of seared duck breast, butter roasted figs and walnut tart.
I'll remember the glow of young lovers on the metro, how they existed in a world of their own, eyes locked, raptly intent on the other's every word.
I'll remember the architecture, the paintings, the sculptures that filled my eyes with tears and my heart with gratitude.
I'll remember climbing the Eiffel Tower on a clear night with a full moon and a sunny Sunday spent strolling through the Luxembourg Gardens.
And I'll remember Parisians for their reverence of food, of valuing quality over quantity, of eating by the season.
In that spirit, I'm sharing a salad recipe with you today that is a picture of autumn: a mixture of tender, emerald kale, crunchy, buttery hazelnuts, and crisp, sweet-tart apples, tossed in a vinaigrette of sweet apricot preserves, piquant Dijon mustard, tangy apple cider vinegar and peppery extra virgin olive oil. It's delicious and complex, tart and sweet, robust and subtle, like the City of Lights and its people whom I have come to love.
Kale Apple Salad with Apricot Dijon Vinaigrette
For the dressing:
- 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the Salad
- 1 bunch Italian Kale sliced crosswise into very thin ribbons (~¼-inch)
- fine salt
- 1 apple cored and thinly sliced (I used an Opal apple, but any crispy sweet-tart apple will do)
- ¼ cup toasted hazelnuts coarsely chopped
- 1 ounce Pecorino Romano thinly shaved
- To make the vinaigrette: whisk together preserves, mustard and vinegar in a small bowl. Add olive oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- For the salad: place kale ribbons into a serving bowl; sprinkle lightly with salt and massage until kale is bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Pour vinaigrette over and toss to evenly coat kale. Serve sprinkled with Pecorino Romano shavings and chopped hazelnuts.
Maggie | Omnivore's Cookbook says
I'm so glad to hear you made home safe Marissa! Paris is one of my favorite cities and I was so sad to see what happened there. But I agree with you, i believe the people there will move on. I love the photos you've been sharing during the trip. It triggered so many of my good old memories 🙂
This is a simple and beautiful salad! I like the idea of adding apricot preserves into the salad dressing. Awesome flavor!
Sonali- The Foodie Physician says
Such a senseless tragedy. I'm so glad you weren't there and yes, please do hold on to all of your wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing such a lovely salad 🙂
Thank you, Sonali. Such a sweet comment - I so appreciate it!
Helen @ Scrummy Lane says
what a truly beautiful idea for a salad, Marissa. I love the sound of that dressing in particular. there's so much inspiration for simple but delicious food over there in that beautiful city.
It is such a beautiful and inspiring city! Thank you so much, Helen. xo
Beeta Hashempour says
Marissa, you've brought tears to my eyes! What a beautiful, beautiful post. You've written everything I wish I could've written into a post but just weren't able to. You've described Parisians perfectly - they are definitely a resilient bunch. I'm so glad you've kept such happy memories of Paris and haven't let this attack tarnish your good times there. This salad is lovely and so perfectly representative of the French. Love you and your blog, Marissa <3
Love you too, Beeta! Thank you for such a sweet comment...xoxo
mila furman says
Awww Marissa what a beautiful and heartwarming post. You transported me to Paris honey. Beautifully written and this recipe just screams comforting greens to me 🙂 Have a great weekend doll.
Thank you so much, Mila. xo
Kevin | KevinIsCooking says
What a wonderful and touching post Marissa. Makes me even more grateful for the things in my life I am blessed with. That man's quote was beyond something I could do and hope to aspire to be! I actually read it aloud to everyone here in Beavercreek as we sipped coffee in front of the fire this morning.
Thanks for that and this lovely recipe as I am going to use this salad dressing for sure when I get home! Hope you two are snuggled up and warm in Bend with the snow! xoxo
I don't think I could do it either, Kevin. Even though I agree with what he said...such strength...
Yes, we're back in Bend! We were in Cali for Thanksgiving - nice to come home to snow. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! xoxo
I am glad you're safe! The salad looks delicious btw.
shashi at runninsrilankan says
Such a heartfelt and lovely post Marissa. Thanks for sharing such beautiful observances of an always beautiful city and thanks for sharing this salad - a perfect healthy side to the holiday table!
Thank you, Shashi... xoxo
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Beautifully said Marissa. I will never understand how anyone can have such blind hatred for so many people but I understand the loving words and actions more. Antoine Leiris and the father and son were two examples of when beauty and love wins over brutality.
Beautifully said, Lorraine. I love that father and son too, so beautiful. xo
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Marissa! You have such wonderful memories of Paris and I thank you for sharing them! This salad would be good with a pan seared duck breast! 🙂
Hi Dorothy! Yes, that would make a perfect meal. xo
Faith (An Edible Mosaic) says
Such a beautiful, poignant post, my friend. I am so thankful that you weren't there at the time of the attacks, but my heart goes out to all who were. I have similar memories of my time spent in Paris, so your words really resonate with me. And this salad looks nothing short of magnificent! xoxo
Thanks so much, sweet friend! xo
I'm so happy that you got safe home Marissa! I'm now scared of travelling to Europe, so sad! Love this salad, great flavors! Pinned!
Thank you, Mira.
Lovely words and so glad you're safe! This salad looks amazing- I love kale and apples 🙂
A beautiful post and so happy you got home safe and sound,
Thank you, Ann.