I’m trying not to let half of August slip through my fingers before writing something about my chosen region for the month: Provence. I’ve actually had this one planned out since I came up with the Regional French Month idea way back in January. Provence, to me, is all about the sunny summery flavors of fresh herbs, juicy tomatoes, plump eggplant, and briny olives. Knowing that August is the height of tomato season, not to mention that of zucchini, eggplant, and bell peppers (the Provençal “trinity” if you will), I thought it would be the perfect time to celebrate one of the best-loved cuisines of France.
A search through the archives here at Croque-Camille reveals a handful of Provence-inspired dishes and recipes, so I thought I’d round them up for you.
Rereading the post about Nick’s Provençal Eggplant thing made me hungry for it all over again. To the point where I went out and bought a couple eggplants so that I could recreate it sometime this week.
Anybody remember the fresh Herbes de Provence I found at the market one sunny morning last year? I haven’t seen them since, but I still think about them, and how delicious they were in a light zucchini quiche.
Or how about the world’s easiest salad dressing, starring that most Provençal of condiments, tapenade?
And of course there’s the pissaladière, the original French pizza. My version didn’t have anchovies, because while there are approximately six million varieties of canned sardine here, finding a jar of plain anchovies is next to impossible.
More recently, the zucchini bake could easily be made more provençal with anchovies instead of pancetta, and some fresh rosemary and thyme. The potato and green bean salad was delicious made with herbes de Provence in place of the tarragon, and now that I think about it, potatoes and green beans are two of the ingredients in another provençal classic: Salade Niçoise.
Speaking of Salade Niçoise, there are obviously several more traditional dishes of Provence that I have yet to cook and write about. So I’m putting it to a poll. What makes you hungry for more?
Originally published on Croque-Camille.