In France, a potager is a kitchen garden, a small green space in the backyard cultivated by the home cook for growing produce and edible greenery. Often, kitchen gardens are decorative in appearance: herbs and vegetables are planted in attractive lines or geometric patterns, sometimes with non-edible flowers planted amongst the vegetables to boost the garden’s beauty. The French are known for their great style and their gardens are no exception!
After a long, cold winter, spring is the time when the potager first begins to burst forth with colour and new life. The French cook is always thrilled to see new buds and blooms and can’t wait to incorporate fresh spring produce into his or her cooking. Carrot, spring lettuce, radish, artichoke, leek and asparagus are some of the first vegetables to appear and the home cook prepares each one differently to highlight flavour, texture and colour.
Stay tuned! Over the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing the best ways to cook up spring’s bounty in the traditional French style.