The season of abundance

The Cooks Atelier in Burgundy

Cookery school owner Marjorie Taylor reveals what makes a foodie summer in Burgundy and presents two sun-kissed seasonal recipes

Summertime in Burgundy is a season of abundance. The cool, rainy spring gives way to hot, sunny days and balmy evenings. The rolling farmland surrounding Beaune is lush and green, dotted with sunflower fields, and the vineyards are full of grapes awaiting harvest. The market is at its busiest, full of vendors and shoppers, and the surrounding village marchés aux puces (flea markets) are bustling.

The market overflows with fresh produce: plump eggplants, striped green zucchini and yellow pattypan squash, speckled lemon cucumbers, fennel and green onions, bunches of peppery roquette, and all different varieties of basil. There are piles of red -and yellow- stemmed Swiss chard, crisp heads of lettuce, fragrant Charentais melons, sweet peaches, and rose-tinged white nectarines.

We buy perfectly ripe berries – redcurrants, blackberries, white and red raspberries, blueberries, and wild woodland strawberries – to make into fruit tarts, and bouquets of sunflowers and daisies for the shop. We eagerly await the arrival of heirloom tomatoes, grown in every colour and shape imaginable. They are so flavourful that you need little more than a sprinkle of fleur de sel and a drizzle of good French olive oil to make them into a meal.

Summer meals aren’t cooked so much as they are assembled: composed salads, chilled soups, grilled meats, and vegetables find their place at our table. Desserts are simple and based around fresh fruit. We take advantage of the warm weather by eating outdoors as much as possible. Though Burgundy is known for ...

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