The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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Sunday Photo - 2 October 2016

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view from Courmettes

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Salade Niçoise, Nice Salad

Posted by on in Food & Drink

Salade niçoise is probably the most well-known dish to come from Nice; it is served in restaurants around the world and means quite literally Nice salad (note the capital N, salad from Nice rather than nice salad, but it is indeed that too).

salade niçoise in restaurant

It is a mixed salad composed of tomatoes, sweet green peppers (long thin salad peppers not the green equivalent of a red pepper), artichokes (in season), young broad beans (in season), cucumber, radish, spring onions, black olives (from Nice), hard boiled eggs, garlic (only to rub the dish with), anchovy filets or tuna, basil leaves, olive oil, salt and pepper.  What it doesn’t contain is any cooked vegetables such as potatoes and green beans.  Nor should it include salad leaves.

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Tapenade; a Provençal classic

Posted by on in Food & Drink

Walk around any market in Provence or the Côte d’Azur and you will see stalls heaped with glistening olive pastes and tapenades, usually next to an enormous array of different olives and other pickles.

                  olives  tapenade

Tapenade is a typically southern dish made with olives, capers, anchovies and olive oil, chopped finely or blended together into a paste.  Its name comes from the Provençal word for capers, "tapenas".

It’s simple to make your own tapenade, varying the amount of each ingredient to suit, but with such a vast choice of delicious ones available in markets, speciality stores and ordinary grocers around here I always have a pot or two of "ready-made" on the go in my fridge.  Within a 10 minute drive we have an award-winning producer in Le Rouret and an olive mill in Opio both of which create delicious tapenades.

                  tapenade snails

Tapenade is a staple ingredient for a southern apéro, just spread on slices of baguette, but my favourite thing to do with it is to make “snails”.  Using a roll of ready-made puff pastry, you spread the tapenade all over then roll up from both sides to the middle.  In order to slice it thinly I pop it in the freezer for 30 mins, just enough to harden a little but not actually freeze.  Now slice into slightly less than 1 cm slices, lay out on a baking tray covered in greaseproof paper and bake for 10-15 minutes at 180°c.  It couldn’t be easier and these provençal "snails" never fail to impress.

If you'd like to discover more delicious local foods take a look at Top 8 must-try foods from Provence


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