|Lunch under the parasol in the courtyard at Maison des Pelerins - Tarte Provencale followed by a green salad,fresh Chevre and Cavaillon Melon ...|
|Succulent figs and fresh Chevre - a perfect pair|
if you are traveling to Provence, get ready for a treat.
|The Essentials - a good Olive Oil and Herbes de Provence|
Bouillabaisse: Who has not heard of Bouillabaisse? (Otherwise known as "woolly bears" to our then four year old son). A hearty saffron based Seafood Stew, served as a main course – usually a special meal. The origin of this dish comes from the very fisherman who went out into the Mediterranean every night, coming back - boats laden with all varieties of fish. Amongst these were smaller boney fish such as racasse (skorpion fish), that were caught up in the nets. These fish, while not particularly pleasant to eat due to their bones, made the perfect base for a strong and flavorful soup, which was the fisherman's meal. The traditional Marseillaise way for serving Bouillabaisse, is to serve the broth first, with rouille - a spicy, garlicky mayonaise which gets its name from the rusty color of the saffron used in its preparation - croutons, and a finely grated sharp cheese. The fish and any vegetables are then served as a second course.
Marseille is the home of this dish where the “Vieux Port” is lined with many restaurants featuring this specialty. Along the Mediterranean coast, you find Bouillabaisse on the menu in many smaller towns and villages as well. Local cooks will tell you that a good Bouillabaisse must have three important ingredients: the bony rock fish found in the Mediterranean; a fine saffron; and rich Provencal olive oil (and herbes de Provence).
|Bouillabaisse as it is traditionally served at the Vieux Port in Marseille|
|Rouille - a mayonnaise made with saffron, garlic and spices is a traditional accompaniment to Bouillabaisse|
|Pistou is a close relative of its Italian cousin Pesto|
|Soupe au Pistou - a hearty vegetable soup richly flavored with Pistou|
|Ratatouille - a bright combination of summer vegetables - shown here is a sauteed version of the dish|
One of my favorites for using leftover Ratatouille is to spread it thinly on a Galette Sarasin (buckwheat crepe) with a light sprinkling of cheese. Served with a green salad, it makes a delicious and easy light meal. I was first introduced to these at the L'Annexe Cafe on the Place de Montfort in Vaison la Romaine, where is it named the Galette Sarasin - Provencal. They also serve many other varieties of "galettes" with other savory fillings.
Tapenade: Olive spread served on toast or with raw vegetables with “aperitif”. It is readily available at Provencal markets, and in any supermarket.
Anchoiade: Also for “aperitif” anchovy paste served in a similar manner to Tappenade.
|Pissaladiere - "grown up's Pizza"|
These are only a few of the treats you will encounter in Provence during your adventures with a knife, fork and spoon. Bon Courage .... Bon Chance .... most of all .... Bon Apetit!