Not without sadness, I’m back from Provence…I have so many things to tell you and show you !! But to honor this region of France, that has generously shared all its richness with me, I will prepare their typical dishes, with some culinary licence, of course!
So our first “star” is the tian, classic provençal dish, made with tomatoes, eggplant, onions, and zucchini…Here I added some whole rice from Camargue, and to make it more appealing to my teenagers…some cheese!
It can be prepared in an oven dish, or presented for brunch, in these individual terrine molds, that look great for the occasion!
Well, but apart from the vegetables for my tian, what else did I need to buy? Yes, something to make my husband happy…something for the “apéritif”
Olives, for instance? All colors: black, green, violet….spicy or not, filled with almonds, red peppers, garlic….Greek, Mexican….with lemon, fennel….and the list goes on!
What else? “Saucisson!!” (salami-type sausage), home-made..with fresh baguette…Mmmm!!!
Saucisson for all tastes: green pepper, chestnut, low fat (???!!!), goat cheese, ginger, bull (?), wild boar, donkey, duck….and here the list goes on too!!
Legions of “saucisson”…I think many international wars would have been avoided if people had been busy eating saucisson instead of making weapons!
All this has to be presented “comme il faut” (as it should be”), in cicada platters, of course!
The cicada is an insect, omnipresent in Provence..you can’t see it (it is too small and hides in trees) but you hear it !!!! During the hot season, it “sings” the whole day….but the noise of all the cicadas singing together in a well-trained choir can be deafening…believe me!!
The cicada is not only the symbol of Provence, but the “protagonist” of the most famous fable by Jean de la Fontaine: the cicada and the ant !!! First encounter of all the French children with French poetry !! It doesn’t exist a child in France who hasn’t been submitted to the Herculean task of having to learn this poem by heart….!!! and he knows he will be marked for his performance, hopefully “sans faute” (without mistakes!) My three kids went through this ordeal at the age of six, of course…but the message is learnt: “you don’t sing in life…you work!!”
Well, not everything is work in life, or food….mainly if you are a woman! It is not a question of going to the market looking “n’importe quoi” (anyway) I DO need one of these dresses, don’t you think? Lovely, lovely !!!! So fresh, so colourful, so elegant in their simplicity !!! The black one with the buttons decoration is a MUST for me !!!
Want the Provençal Tian recipe?
To make this Provençal Tian (serves 6), you will need:
* brown or white rice (here I used Camargue), 200gr
* small zucchinis, 4
* small eggplants, 2
* small tomatoes, 4
* white onions, 3
* Holland cheese, 200gr
* fresh thyme, a branch
* olive oil, salt & pepper