A Summer day

A walk through the village this morning involved a few stops on the way to visit the cows and pick poppies on the path leading to the field.

C’est pour papa !” (It’s for daddy!) Lulu exclaimed holding a coquelicot in her hand. She was counting the days until her papa arrived to meet us.

Tu n’as pas changé !” (You have not changed a bit!) Madame G. told me when she caught sight of Lulu and me by the village fountain. She was hobbling with a cane in her hand. I realized I had not seen her in a few years.

Merci, ” I said with a smile. “Vous êtes trop gentille ! ” (You are too nice.)

I felt blessed for the encounter. Reminding me of my childhood in the village.

After lunch, Lulu picked raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries with Mamie and together, they read some of my old Heidi books. And when they were done and we had an afternoon swim, I baked an apricot clafoutis with pistachios for our afternoon goûter, and I prepared a salade de cocos rouges for dinner.

It was simply a delicious summer day à la campagne.

And I felt lucky that we had it.

Hoping for another similar one the next day.

And by the way, tell me one thing, are haricots cocos rouges called kidney beans in English?

Update: Thank you Estelle, Sally, and Allison for letting me know. Now I know they are called cranberry beans!

Cranberry Bean Salad with watercress, radish, and cherry tomatoes

Cranberry Bean Salad recipe with Watercress, Radish, and Cherry Tomatoes

You need:

  • 2 cups (10.5 ounces; 300 g) fresh cranberry beans (removed from pods)
  • 1 twig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon moutarde de Dijon
  • 2 tablespoons Melfor Alsatian Honey Vinegar (which I used) or apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small spring red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chervil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 2 cups cleaned watercress
  • 1 long pink radish, finely sliced
  • 4 small pink radishes, finely sliced
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 fromage de chèvre frais (200 g) (1 fresh soft goat cheese), to serve


  • Place the cranberry beans in a pot and cover with water. Add thyme and a bay leaf and sea salt and cook until tender (about 45 minutes, or less, depending on the size). Strain and let completely cool.
  • In a small bowl, add sea salt and pepper and the mustard. Stir in the vinegar and then emulsify the olive oil in. Add the fresh herbs and chopped onion; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the watercress, cocos rouges, radishes, and tomatoes. Add the dressing and toss gently. Serve with soft goat cheese on the side.
  • Le coin français
    Salade de cocos rouges, cresson, radis, et tomates cerises

    Ingrédients :

    • 300 g de haricots cocos rouges nettoyés
    • 1 brin de thym
    • 1 feuille de laurier
    • Sel de mer et poivre
    • 1 càc de moutarde forte de Dijon
    • 2 càs de vinaigre Melfor ou de vinaigre de cidre
    • 6 càs d’huile d’olive
    • 1 petit oignon rouge frais, haché finement
    • 1 càs de cerfeuil finement haché
    • 1 càs ciboulette hachée
    • 2 poignées de cresson
    • 1 gros radis rose long, coupé en fines tranches
    • 4 petit radis roses, coupés en fines tranches
    • 16 tomatos cerises, coupées en 4
    • 1 fromage de chèvre frais (200 g), pour servir

    Etapes :

  • Mettez les cocos rouges dans une casserole et couvrez d’eau. Salez et ajoutez une feuille de laurier et un brin de thym. Faites cuire pendant 45 minutes, ou moins, jusqu’à ce qu’ils soient tendres. Egouttez et laissez refroidir.
  • Dans un petit bol, ajoutez du sel, du poivre, et la moutarde. Ajoutez le vinaigre et émulsionnez avec l’huile d’olive. Ajoutez les herbes et l’oignon haché; mettez de côté.
  • Dans un saladier, mélangez le cresson, les cocos rouges refroidis, les tranches de radis, et le bouts de tomates. Assaisonnez avec la vinaigrette et mélangez délicatement. Servez cette salade avec le fromage de chèvre.

    1. Bea, I’m pretty sure these are what we call cranberry beans. Bonnes vacances! how nice to spend it in the country.

    2. Yes, we say “cranberry” or “borlotti” beans. Merci de ce blog décadant!

    3. Yes Allison, Sally et Estelle. Thank you. I feel richer now that I know! 😉 Will amend the text with your precious information. Merci!

    4. First off, your girl’s hair is just amazing! Also, I grew up in the village where the Heidi story is based and your photos are beautiful as per usual.

    5. Your summer day à la campagne are sheer bliss! Love the Heidi books. 😉

      Cranberry beans are called Borlotti beans in Italy. They were one of the first joyful encounters I made when I moved from DC to Vienna, Borlotti beans at the farmers market, and in abundance.

    6. Des photos toujours aussi belles moi aussi j’avais ces livres d’Heid quand j’étais petite… Bel fin d’été

    7. What a beautiful summer day and how beautiful Lulu is!…Thank you for the photos and for the inspiring recipe!

    8. I just cooked cranberry beans for the first time last week. They were so deliciously nutty! Can’t wait to try this salad — I just tossed them with olive oil and lemon juice so this will be a nice change. Thanks, Bea!

    9. Yes, definitely called “cranberry beans” here in the U.S. Williams Sonoma just came out with a line of beans and they feature them. They lose that pretty color though when cooked….

    10. Oh, your colours are just exquisite!
      Why are you’re photos so much more vibrant than anything i have seen ???
      And i made the buttermilk, lemon, poppyseed, quinoa pancakes this morning and i SWOONED! They are so light and delicious. thank you so much.
      enjoy the countryside with LuLu!!

    11. Bea, only you could photograph green slime and a dead moth and make it look pretty.

    12. In many countries, these are known as berlotti beans, after their Italian name. They even grow in the highland farms here in northern Borneo!

    13. Beautiful day, beautiful pictures. My kids insist that I let you know they love your cookbook – my daughter (10) was diagnosed with celiac disease a little over a year ago. I have been doing tons of baking since then, but the crusts from your book have been our favorites so far – and they work at the first try!!!! We just ended a 4 course dinner with the blackberry tartlets – and they looked exactly like in the book’s picture! 🙂 Thanks for bringing that kind of culinary wealth into our lives!

    14. Wonderful pictures, Béa. I can almost smell the fresh air and the delicious smells coming from your pots and oven. This salad looks gorgeous! I just hope I’ll find the beans but if I don’t I’ll just have to substitute them with something else. We have wonderful fresh haricot verts right now at our farmers markets.

    15. Bea, I adore your blog, your beautiful photography and catching up on your travels. Merci!

    16. Dear Bea. I kept eyeing your cookbook in several stores and finally bought it last week. I read a section each night. Firstly, thank you for sharing your love of food and joy of life. Secondly, I am a person who never learned another language and I love the sounds of French speaking peoples. So, I love it when you use your own language in your text (and translate). Thank you for adding joy to my life.

    17. Angela,

      Such a touching note. Many thanks. I hope the book will inspire you in the kitchen!

    18. I’m a little behind. My daughter told me about Pinterest and I set up an account and found YOU. Bea, I will most likely be a avid follower. The pics are beautiful..your little LuLu adorable and thank you for inspriation and motivation. Hugs from Texas.

    19. What pretty mossy greens in these photos. They make the reds and pinks even brighter. And Lulu looks so tall!

    20. I never knew borlotti beans were so pretty – I’ve only ever used the canned version and they are brown and boring!

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    22. Beautiful photos of your girl, and the cows! You’ll have to come and take photographs of the cows near our home the next time you’re in Ireland!

    23. Beautiful photos of your girl, and the cows!

      You’ll have to come and take photographs of the cows near our home the next time you’re in Ireland!