The Provençal Plate

An up-close look at one of the most famous food regions in the Mediterranean.

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_custom_heading text=”This week’s menu features one quintessential Provençal dish, so we thought it was a good opportunity to share more about the cuisine that this part of the world is known for.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1592579270509{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Provence is a Mediterranean food mecca situated in southeastern France, along the French Riviera. The beauty of this region is only matched by the rich bounty of ingredients found there, which include tomatoes, garlic, saffron, anchovies, olives, and wild herbs. While many associate french food with what is known as “la haute cuisine,” for which its famous, Provençal cuisine encompasses a much simpler, farm-to-table approach. It largely features seafood, abundant along its coast as well as what is in-season. This part of France also produces many incredible wines, the vast  majority of which are rosés.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8616″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”While there are staple dishes of the region, seasonality plays a huge role in the dishes that are produced.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1592579296681{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]While there are staple dishes of the region, seasonality plays a huge role in the dishes that are produced. February is truffle season, so they’re used in omelettes and pasta. In April, asparagus appears, followed by melons and some of the best tasting strawberries in the world. In May and June, cherries and peaches are integrated into local plates, and so on. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8619″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]One of the most famous dishes of Provence is bouillabaisse, which is a cross between a soup and a stew, and is made from three fishes, one of which is eel. Seasoned with olive oil, saffron, garlic and leeks, it’s a seafood lover’s dream. Other popular dishes include Artichauts à la Barigoule (fried artichokes with bacon), Ratatouille (vegetable stew) and, of course, Salade Niçoise, which you’ll be making this week! 

There are slight variations of this salad but, generally, it consists of cooked and raw vegetables as well as hard-boiled eggs, anchovies and tuna. Unlike most salads, Niçoise is substantial enough for dinner. While it’s not difficult to prepare, timing and organization are essential to successfully preparing it, since there are many components that must be brought together. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8618″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”The lush herbs that grow in Provence lend an enormous amount of flavor, and are used generously in the cooking there.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1592579368047{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]The lush herbs that grow in Provence lend an enormous amount of flavor, and are used generously in the cooking there. You’re likely familiar with Herbes de Provence, which is a typical Provençal herb mix (rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram, and savoury). Each of these herbs are part of the natural flora of Provence. With a woody, slightly sweet flavor, it’s the perfect blend of herbs to add to salads, vegetables, meats, seafood and more. It is typically mixed with cooking oil prior to preparation to infuse the flavour into the cooked food.

Overall, Provençal cuisine showcases sophisticated comfort food that makes the most of the warm, dry Meditteranean climate. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]