Paté begs for a tart accompaniment, something pickled, something sour, something crisp. You must offset the rich fattiness of the livers, gizzards, or whatever other organ meats you’ve chosen to press into delicious service atop a piece of toast. A snap of pickled cucumber, a gentle purple curl of cured red onion, a swipe of grainy mustard, these all carry weighty significance in our minds as we polish off a ramekin of potentially artery clogging delights. The vegetables call out, “Another bite!” You obey, after all, it can’t be that unhealthy to finish the pot if you’re eating veggies. You can’t reasonably leave one slice of pickle on the charcuterie board, and if you’re going to nibble the pickle, you might as well use it to pick up that bit of paté waiting at the bottom of the ramekin. And while you’re at it, why not throw the fat covered vegetable on the last remaining crostini? A perfect final bite, crisp, tart, sweet, fatty, and peppery.
I’ve been reading David Lebovitz’s The Sweet Life in Paris and reveling in his storytelling. His view on Parisian life through the eyes of a hungry transplant is both funny and astute. The narrative is spotted with recipes here and there, one of my favorites is Lebovitz’s adaptation/appropriation of Judy Witts Francini’s Agrodolce Onions. A jar of these onions provided the perfect accompaniment to my recent tryst with 3 pounds of chicken livers.
Find the book, laugh in public, cook tonight.