At last it’s barbecue season. The time of year when sunsplashed afternoons segue seamlessly into rosé-splashed evenings, when lighting the coals becomes a ritual that harks back to a previous era when families gathered around a fire to prepare their evening meal. Thankfully we no longer have to hunt for food, at least not in the same way. A quick trip to the supermarket or butcher to buy some meat, a foray into the garden to gather some herbs, and voilà. A simple and succulent dinner is on the way.
Porc grillé aux herbes de Provence / Grilled pork chops with rosemary and thyme
You don’t have a barbecue? You don’t have a garden? Not to worry. You can pan-sear the chops and use dried herbs to almost the same effect. It’s a summer dish for spring, a way to welcome the onset of magical evenings with friends. There’s a change in the quality of the air, a buzz to the fading light that can turn even the simplest conversation into an epic rendering of past triumphs or failures. When I first moved to Paris I was surprised at how long the sun lingers in the spring. By midsummer’s eve, it waits until 11 to drop below the horizon. Then I realized that we’re at the same latitude as Montreal, never mind the warmer climate. As we say in French, tout s’explique (translation: ‘Elementary, my dear Watson’). So gather up your herbs, fresh or store-bought — and happy cooking.