To welcome some visiting pals shortly after Bastille Day, I ready a feast impressed by time I spent in Saint-Tropez throughout July way back, when Brigitte Bardot was a fascinating presence within the city.

This meal was not one for the faint of abdomen. Anybody who feared garlic, anchovies and different robust flavors in all probability ought to move on it.

We loved it outdoors on a heat night with rosé from Provence.

Consuming it reminded us, nonetheless, that you just don’t have to attend for Bastille Day for French meals. Although the flowery variations in eating places could seem intimidating, virtually 70 million French males, girls and youngsters eat, too, and most of what they’re served doesn’t appear to be that on the French Laundry.

Individuals are additionally studying…

— Socca, a pizza or crepe product of chickpea flour 

— Pissaladière, a “pizza” with sautéed onions, black olives and anchovies

— Aïoli with crudités comparable to cucumber, fennel, candy onion, tomato and celery

— Anchoïade, an anchovy paste

— Fougasse, a leaf-shaped bread

— Grilled swordfish and tuna

— Rouille, roasted pink pepper sauce

Dessert: Tarte Tatin with French vanilla ice cream (not from Provence however undoubtedly French).

The recipes


Socca, a crepe-like pizza dusted with black pepper, is a superb match for a rosé from the south of France.

Socca is from Good, though it is a relative of comparable flatbreads from Italy, and it’s scrumptious. You possibly can season it with herbs like dried rosemary if you need (I don’t) or garlic (I do) and plenty of black pepper.

It was as soon as virtually fried in a pan on a sizzling hearth and bought crispy edges, however now could be usually baked in a wood-burning oven and is extra genteel.

I’ve discovered that it’s easiest to start out in a skillet then slip below the broiler.

Another is to put a pizza stone close to the highest of an oven near the broiler. Get the oven screaming sizzling (500 levels if it is going to go that top) and let the stone warmth for a very long time, possibly an hour. Then place the pan with the raw batter on the stone and change from baking to broiling. New York Occasions meals author Melissa Clark advised me that secret.

It tends to stay even within the particular socca pan I introduced house from Good, so use plenty of olive oil. A nonstick pan would appear very best, however most can’t go below a broiler or in a highly regarded oven.

This recipe makes two pancakes.

Water as wanted (1 cup or extra)

2 tablespoons olive oil plus extra for baking

¼ teaspoon garlic powder (it doesn’t burn, in contrast to contemporary garlic)

Black pepper (to style; non-compulsory)

Combine flour, salt and water to make a skinny batter, then add oil and put aside for half-hour to an hour. Add extra water if wanted to maintain it skinny, like heavy cream.

Warmth flat pan or skillet. Pour in a number of tablespoons oil (or extra), and when it’s scorching, add a drizzle of batter and swirl the pan. The pancakes must be skinny and as massive because the pan. It ought to get crisp from all of the oil and have some darkish spots from the extraordinary warmth.

Serve instantly with black pepper and extra salt if wanted.


Pissaladière will get a topping of caramelized onions, anchovies and black olives.

Pissaladière is a pizza-like concoction lined with caramelized onions, anchovies and black olives.

Some individuals use a pastry dough containing butter or puff pastry for the bottom, however I feel a yeast-risen dough is most applicable (and marginally more healthy).

It was historically made with a paste of the principle topping elements, however I discover a sample of the little fish and olives most interesting to the attention and therefore to the style.

1 teaspoon rapid-rise dry yeast

Combine yeast, flour, salt and oil in a meals processor or stand mixer. Add sufficient water to create a reasonably moist dough, about 1 1/2 cup. Type dough right into a ball, then place in an oiled bowl cowl with plastic wrap to rise till doubled in measurement, about an hour.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 lbs. onions, peeled and really thinly sliced

Salt and freshly floor black pepper

2 sprigs contemporary thyme and marjoram

1/3 cup oil-cured olives (you in all probability ought to pit them for Individuals)

A few dozen agency anchovy fillets

Warmth oven to 450 levels.

Warmth oil in a heavy massive pan over medium-low warmth. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Add herbs and canopy pan to let onions simmer for half an hour or till very delicate. They need to not brown. Then uncover and proceed cooking till the onions cut back till delicate and golden, about half an hour extra.

Place pizza stone in oven and preheat to 450 levels. Roll dough out into a skinny, flat rectangle in a sheet pan. Permit to rise for half-hour, then unfold onion combination on high, discarding herb stems.

Prepare olives and anchovies over the onions, then slide onto sizzling pizza stone. Bake till crust has browned, about quarter-hour. Slice into diamonds and serve heat or at room temperature.

Aïoli is a garlicky emulsion sauce that’s good on every thing Mediterranean, from bread to greens to meat to soups.

It was historically made with simply garlic and salt, which had been pounded in a mortar with olive oil dribbled in slowly to type an emulsion. It may be tough to create the correct emulsion, and now it’s usually a garlicky mayonnaise made with an egg yolk to simplify creating the emulsion.

Most individuals now use blenders (immersion blenders for small portions). It nonetheless will be chancy, I’ve discovered, however it’s finest so as to add the oil very slowly at first.

4 massive cloves contemporary garlic, peeled and minced with a Microplane

1 teaspoon contemporary lemon juice or to style

½-cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon water to regulate texture if wanted

Place minced garlic, egg yolk, salt and lemon juice in a blender or cup for immersion blender.

Activate the blender and slowly pour in oil, stating with just some drops. Proceed incorporating olive oil, till aïoli thickens up. If it will get too thick, add a number of drops of water. Verify salt and lemon.

Anchoïade is an intense anchovy sauce in any other case fairly much like aïoli or rouille, for that matter.

1 medium peeled clove garlic

Anchovy fillets in oil from one 2-ounce can (from Portugal or Italy)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoons lemon juice (or to style)

Place garlic and anchovies in bowl of mini meals processor or immersion blender cup and grind right into a paste. Slowly add oil with it working. Then add lemon juice and style. It’s not very tough, in contrast to aïoli.

Historically, rouille pink sauce is thickened with breadcrumbs (floor almonds work, too), however many cooks now make it like mayonnaise with a uncooked egg yolk. It may be made in a mortar, however a blender works positive. Some variations embody costly saffron, however it may be overwhelmed by these intense elements and it’s pink sufficient from the peppers (rouille means rust).

1 pink bell pepper, roasted and peeled (you should use one from a jar)

1 roasted sizzling pink chili pepper if you could find them, or develop your individual or floor cayenne pepper, to style (I like smoked sizzling pimentón paprika from throughout the border in Spain.)

1 tablespoon contemporary lemon juice

1 massive peeled garlic clove

¼ cup contemporary breadcrumbs or almond meal. Panko would work if you happen to moist it, then squeeze dry.

¼ cup contemporary parsley leaves

½ teaspoon (or to style) positive salt (or a bit extra kosher salt)

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix bell pepper, chili pepper, lemon juice, garlic, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt till easy. Slowly add olive oil whereas mixing to type a paste.


Fougasse is a uniquely formed bread from Provence. 

Fougasse is a uniquely formed bread from Provence. Though the identify is said to focaccia, it’s a flat loaf that has slices minimize within the dough and separated so it form of resembles a leaf. The fundamental one simply has salt (and olive oil) in it, however variations include black olives and dried Provençal herbs like lavender, rosemary and thyme.

Just some notes: I exploit a meals processor and bread flour with a bit of semolina added for texture and to tame the gluten stretch-back.

Use instant-rise yeast. It doesn’t take a lot yeast, lower than half a package deal, however I purchase it by the pound and maintain it within the fridge.

If you need it to start out rising quickly, go away the dough ball within the meals processor, however don’t add the salt for about 10 or quarter-hour, then give it one other whirl.

Stretch it out and minimize the slits earlier than the ultimate rise otherwise you’ll deflate it.

A pizza stone in your oven and an extended heating at a excessive temperature assist create a crunchy crust, as does a flat pan crammed with water on the underside of the oven. Put the water in to warmth while you activate the oven, however you’ll have to replenish it.

Tapenade is an olive paste, however the identify comes from the Provençal phrase for caper, so they’re an important ingredient, as are garlic, olive oil and an anchovy or two. You possibly can unfold it on bread or fish no matter you want.

1/2 pound pitted oil-packed or Kalamata olives (Niçoise olives are conventional however laborious to seek out right here, tiny and costly. Black olives are hottest, however you possibly can add inexperienced olives.)

2 massive cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Place all elements within the bowl of a (small) meals processor. Course of to mix, stopping to scrape down the edges of the bowl, till the combination turns into a rough paste, roughly 1 to 2 minutes whole. Chances are you’ll want so as to add extra oil.

I grilled sustainably caught tuna and swordfish. Dry the fish earlier than cooking so it grills, not steams.

Don’t marinate it in something acid like lemon juice as that “cooks” the floor a bit and might have an effect on grill marks. It’s finest to not add salt too quickly as it is going to draw out moisture.

Be sure that the grate could be very clear and sizzling, and oil it and the surfaces of the fish simply earlier than you begin grilling.

Don’t overcook them, however most individuals want fish cooked, particularly swordfish. I exploit an instantaneous thermometer.

If the tuna could be very contemporary, you possibly can go away it medium uncommon but when the fish is sushi-grade, you shouldn’t be grilling it anyway!

Serve with lemon slices and rouille, tapenade or aïoli.

For the film with the rat chef Remy, Thomas Keller selected a chic dish with the identical elements as ratatouille, confit byaldi, which makes a formidable presentation.

In apply, I feel the combined model merges the flavors higher.

There are two basic methods to make ratatouille (ignoring Remy’s model): Reduce all of the greens up, throw them in a pot with plenty of olive oil and bake it (preferable) or prepare dinner on high of the range. It’s extra work, however I feel superior, to prepare dinner a lot of the greens individually as they require completely different instances, then mix them and simply simmer collectively.

1 lb. eggplant minimize in 1-inch cubes (small eggplants are higher, with firmer flesh and fewer seeds, which will be bitter and switch the items to mush). Depart on pores and skin or zebra peel the eggplant.

1 lb. zucchini or different summer time squash minimize into 1-inch cubes (I truly want extra eggplant than squash.)

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

½ lb. yellow onions minimize in 1-inch chunks

2 pink, yellow, orange or unripe (inexperienced) bell peppers minimize in 1-inch squares

3 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 lb. ripe seeded, peeled tomatoes minimize in 1-inch cubes, or good canned complete peeled tomatoes minimize in roughly the identical measurement and drained

Fashionable eggplants aren’t often bitter, however in case you are involved, salt the cubes and allow them to drain for half-hour to an hour, rinse off and dry in a salad spinner (and even on towels).

Put the eggplant in a bowl with some olive oil and shake to coat the eggplant. This reduces the quantity of oil you need to use in cooking. They’ll soak up each drop of oil, however launch half later. The squash don’t soak up that a lot.

In a forged iron pot, warmth 1/4 cup oil, sauté the eggplant and squash individually for five to eight minutes every till they’re barely delicate browned. Take away to bowl.

Prepare dinner peppers and onions in the identical pot with a number of tablespoons of olive oil added if wanted till they’re tender, about 10 minutes, including the garlic after about 8 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to the peppers and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cowl and prepare dinner for about 5 minutes on low warmth till the tomatoes begin to render their juice. Verify the seasoning, uncover and lift the warmth. Boil till most tomato juice evaporates.

Add the eggplant/squash combination and parsley. Cowl and bake at 375 levels for about 10 minutes. Verify it after 10 minutes and season if needed. Uncover and prepare dinner every thing for quarter-hour till the juices evaporate.

Let it relaxation for 10 or quarter-hour earlier than serving. Good at room temperature in addition to sizzling.

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