When the sun shines over our beautiful city of London, it’s time to eat light, delicious and healthy recipes from Provence, South East of France. A Provençal recipe naturally involves a lot of locally pressed olive oil. After all, it is the predominant ingredient of our wholesome diet and it should be consumed everyday.
Today, we are suggesting that you prepare a three-course meal, or four if you have some cheese, that evokes a Summer day in this beautiful part of France!
Tapenade for Starter:
In France we often start a meal with an apéro: some nibbles with a glass of crisp white wine, a rosé, a Ricard, a glass of squash or any refreshing drinks. It marks the start of fun moment where friends and family are sharing a fantastic time together around the table. To offer your guest something else than just olives, saucisson and sun dried tomatoes, open their appetite with some Tapenade.
- 250g of black olives (pits removed)
- 6 anchovies fillet in oil
- 3 teaspoon of caper in vinegar
- 1 garlic clove
- 10 cl of olive oil
Mix everything very finely with a blender before adding the olive oil to obtain a smooth paste. Serve it with toasts or raw veggie sticks, close your eyes and enjoy the sun!
Ratatouille as a Main:
If you are from south of France, you most certainly can’t envisage a Summer without a ratatouille. Made with seasonal veggies this dish is colorful, succulent and extremely healthy.
- 4 big onions
- 5 garlic cloves
- 2 aubergine
- 5 courgettes
- 6 big tomatoes
- ½ red or yellow pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 thyme branch
- Olive oil
- salt and pepper
Melt the onions and garlic cloves in a big pan with some olive oil. Cut the veggies in big cube of 2cm. Add the aubergine and cook for 10 minutes. As the aubergine will soak a lot of olive oil be generous and add some more as needed. Add the courgettes and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes before adding the tomatoes, the thyme and the bay leaf. 30 minutes later you are ready to serve 8 guests. If like us, you are a wine lover, our tip is to add a glass of white wine like a Picpoul de Pinet with the courgettes.
A ratatouille can be eaten with any kind of meat, fish and BBQs; you can make a tart with the leftovers and it can even be savoured cold.
Strawberries for Dessert:
The French like to finish every meal with some tasty cheese and many of us must conclude with a sweet taste. As strawberries are in season, we suggest you to have them for dessert. With very little effort you can turn this summer fruit into a simple and yet transporting salad.
- 250g of strawberry
- 4 mint leaves
- ½ lemon juice
- 15g of sugar
Cut the strawberries; add the lemon juice and the sugar. Make sure you make it before the apéro starts to obtain a succulent juice. Add the mint leaves before serving.
Voila, in about an hour you prepared a typical Provençal meal that is perfect for any Summer days. Perhaps you are thinking that a three or four-course meal is a bit excessive when it’s hot outside but, in reality, taking the time to relaxed while eating fresh seasonal products is extremely good for you!