Search
Provence Holidays

Savour the Specialities

Our beautiful region offers an exceptional range of rich and delicious dishes based on olive oil, fragrant herbs, garlic and spices. Provençal cuisine is characterised by the abundant use of vegetables. It is extremely inventive! Some preparations are known throughout the world, others a little less so.

Of course, the dishes proposed here can be enjoyed all year round! However, the specialities recommended in this section are recommended because they reflect tradition or because the vegetables used have reached maturity in summer. Today, it is important to favour seasonal fruit and vegetables: they taste better, meet our nutritional needs, are richer in antioxidants, are less processed and less expensive! Bon appétit to all!

Petits Farcis (Little Stuffings)

What is it exactly?

Stuffed vegetables are a very common Mediterranean speciality in Provence, but also in Spain, Italy and Greece. They are vegetables, courgettes, mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, etc., hollowed out and filled with a meat-based stuffing. The composition of the stuffing varies: salted pork, veal, beef, ham, smoked bacon, anchovies, etc. But beware, rice and sausage meat are excluded from this preparation! It was in Nice that the recipe became a real speciality, with small vegetables. This dish has been passed down from generation to generation. There are as many recipes as there are families!

Origin

Lu farcit nissart, "the little Niçois stuffed dishes" were born from the art of living of the ancestors of Nice. The latter, accustomed to living off the vegetables in their garden and anxious not to waste, came up with a dish full of sunshine based on vegetables and leftover meat. Originally, it was the baker who was in charge of the cooking, who put them in the oven at a low temperature so that the vegetables kept their juice and flavour.

A Recipe

Petits Farcis:

Serves 6

Preparation time: 15 mins

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 3 peppers: 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green
  • 3 round tomatoes
  • 3 round courgettes
  • 1 aubergine
  • 4 white onions
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 30 cl of tomato coulis
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 800 g ground veal
  • 1 half a baguette of hard bread
  • 4 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
  • 30 cl olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons of thyme
  • salt and pepper
  1. Chop the parsley and basil. Chop the garlic and onions and fry them in a casserole dish with half the oil.
  2. Add the veal, thyme, half the herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. Leave to cook for 35 minutes on a low heat.
  4. Cut off the tops of the peppers, tomatoes and courgettes and cut the aubergine into 2 sections.
  5. Remove the seeds from the peppers and empty the other vegetables. Keep the flesh for the stuffing.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  7. Brush the inside of the vegetables with a little oil. Season with salt and pepper and turn them out onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Place in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Soak the bread in half the tomato coulis.
  9. Mix the vegetable flesh with the softened bread.
  10. Add this mixture to the casserole with the stuffing halfway through the cooking time. At the end of the cooking time, add the rest of the coulis.
  11. Take the vegetables out of the oven, turn them over and fill them with the stuffing.
  12. Mix the breadcrumbs and remaining herbs, add salt and pepper and sprinkle over the vegetables.
  13. Place them in an oven dish, coat them with oil and put them in the oven for 45 minutes.
  14. Enjoy!

Unbelievable but true!

There are 3 golden rules for stuffing:

  • They only tolerate top quality products.
  • They should be prepared in large quantities because they are the ultimate convivial dish! And also because they are best reheated.
  • They should be served warm or at room temperature, but certainly not hot, so as not to dampen the flavours.

Bouillabaisse

What is it exactly?

Bouillabaisse is one of the culinary emblems of the city of Marseille, along with aïoli. It consists of a fish soup accompanied by croutons, garlic float bread spread with rouille, pieces of fish and potatoes. Its name comes from the old Provençal expression

Bolhabaissa, de bohl, "it boils" and abaissa, "it lowers". Speaking of the fire: "Quand il bout, tu baisses". This is one of the crucial steps in the recipe: when the water boils, you have to turn down the heat so that the cooking is done in simmering water.

Origin

This dish originated in ancient Greece, and dates back to the foundation of Marseilles in the 7th century BC. It was originally a simple fish stew called kavakia, made from unsold fish brought in by fishermen. The recipe eventually spread beyond the city's borders. It became really famous when it was served in Paris in a restaurant called Les Frères provençaux.

Little by little, the recipe evolved: more luxurious ingredients were added, such as saffron and olive oil.

A Recipe

Bouillabaisse:

Serves 4

Preparation time: 2 hours

Cooking time: 2 hours

Ingredients

For the rouille:

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 10 cl of milk
  • 8 cl olive oil
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1 small red pepper

For the vegetables:

  • 4 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 leek
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • A few sprigs of parsley
  • 1 teaspoon of saffron filaments
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 10 cl olive oil
  • half a tablespoon of coarse salt
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 onion
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 bay leaf

For scaled but not gutted fish:

  • 240 g of monkfish, scorpion fish, conger eel, st. Pierre, white fish, red gurnard and slipper lobster or langoustines
  1. Prepare the vegetables.
  2. Peel, seed and crush the tomatoes. Chop the onions and crush the garlic. Chop the leek white.
  3. Put all the vegetables in a large pot.
  4. Empty the fish. Reserve the livers.
  5. Cut off the heads and tails, cut off the legs of the cicadas.
  6. Add the heads and tails of the fish and the cicadas to the pot and add 25 cl of olive oil.
  7. Add the fennel, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns.
  8. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  9. Boil 5 litres of water separately.
  10. Pour the water into the pot of vegetables. Add salt, bring to the boil and lower the heat.
  11. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  12. Strain the soup by crushing the vegetables and fish pieces.
  13. Add the saffron.
  14. Cut the fish into pieces.
  15. Cook them successively in the previous preparation brought to the boil: conger eel for 10 mins; St. Pierre for 6 mins; monkfish and scorpion fish for 4 mins; gurnard and whitefish for 3 mins.
  16. The fish should not be completely cooked, but just cooked through. Take them out of the stock and set them aside as soon as they are cooked.
  17. Prepare the rouille: soak the bread in the milk; peel, degerm and crush the garlic with the seeded chilli. Add the soaked and wrung-out bread crumbs, then the olive oil, while continuing to crush. Add salt and pepper and dilute with 1 tablespoon of stock.
  18. To serve the bouillabaisse: mix the stock with the chopped fish livers, whisking well.
  19. Serve the stock on the plates and distribute the pieces.
  20. Serve with slices of toasted bread, rubbed with garlic and olive oil, and rouille.
  21. Enjoy!


Unbelievable but true!

In Marseille, traditions are respected! There is a charter for bouillabaisse! Yes, over the years, the success of this famous recipe has led to too many abuses. The scams were so numerous that the restaurant owners in Marseille decided to draw up this charter in 1980. The rules are as follows:

  • The service must be done in two different dishes, with the broth on one side and the fish on the other.
  • The fish that must make up the bouillabaisse are: scorpion fish, spider fish, conger fish, scorpion fish capon and white scorpion fish.
  • The complementary ingredients are: salt, pepper, onions, fennel, saffron, parsley, olive oil, potatoes, garlic and tomatoes.
  • Bouillabaisse should be served with rouille, aioli and croutons rubbed with garlic.

Socca

What is it exactly?

Socca is a large, thick pancake made from chickpea flour and olive oil and baked in the oven. This culinary speciality of Nice cuisine is generally served in pieces cut with a spatula. It is eaten hot, straight from the oven, often accompanied by pepper. Good socca is both crispy on the surface and soft on the inside.

Origin

Socca is probably a derivative of the Italian farinata, a chickpea-based cake that Italians baked in the Middle Ages. It probably arrived from Italy in the 19th century with Genoese immigrants. It was in the 1900s that the dish became popular in Nice.

A Recipe

Socca:

Serves 4

Preparation time: 5 min

Cooking time: 5 min

Ingredients :   

  • 250 g chickpea flour
  • 50 cl water
  • 3 tablespoons of very fruity olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • pepper
  1. Mix the flour, salt and olive oil and add the water gradually to avoid lumps.
  2. Pour the dough onto a well-oiled baking tray. The thickness should not exceed 3 mm.
  3. Preheat your oven for 15 minutes as long as you can. At least 275 °C.
  4. Put the tray in the oven. Count 2 min and put on grill mode.
  5. Leave to cook for 7 minutes.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and serve immediately, sprinkling with pepper.
  7. Enjoy!


Unbelievable but true!

You can eat socca in Tokyo! A young Japanese woman, Sasagawa Emiko, trained as a chef in Nice and fell in love with this delicious cake. She learned to cook socca and decided to open a socca restaurant in Tokyo! So, if you're passing by, here's the address: Chez Sasaco Chūō-ku, Higashi Nihonbashi, 2 Chome-11-3, Tokyo.

Pistou Soup

What is it exactly?

This traditional soup smells like summer and sun-drenched vegetables! It is a summer dish full of flavours that can be eaten hot or cold. Pistou is a Provençal word meaning "to crush": it is basil, garlic, olive oil crushed, and sometimes tomato is added. The soup is based on courgettes, white and green beans, carrots, turnips, celery, potatoes, tomatoes... to which a handful of pasta is added at the end. There are a multitude of recipes for this Provençal soup, one for each family or almost!

Origin

This delicious preparation originated in Genoa. Italian families who came to France at the beginning of the century in search of work brought it with them.

A Recipe

Pistou Soup:


Serves 4

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 mins

Ingredients :   

  • 2 litres of water
  • 250 g flat green beans
  • 250 g fresh white beans
  • 250 g fresh kidney beans
  • 3 potatoes
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 200 g of large vermicelli or coquillettes

For the pistou :

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A bunch of basil
  • 1 large spoonful of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  1. Put the water with the green, white and red beans, the diced potatoes and the tomato pulp.
  2. When the soup is three quarters cooked, add the pasta and leave to simmer until the soup is thick.
  3. Make the pistou: Crush the garlic and basil in a mortar. Add the Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Pour the pistou into the soup just before serving.
  5. Enjoy!


Unbelievable but true!

For almost ten years, there has been a World Pistou Soup Championship in Miramas! The 9th edition was held last July! You can come and cook your soup in teams, or enjoy the friendly atmosphere of the day. The coronation of the world champion takes place at 6pm! For more information, please contact Tel: 04 90 58 08 24

Savour the Specialities