Keep summer going… in your plate!

  • Niçoise salad

    © All rights reserved

    Niçoise salad

    © All rights reserved

  • © ATOUT FRANCE - Phovoir

    © ATOUT FRANCE - Phovoir

Keep summer going… in your plate!

Just because September is upon us doesn’t mean you have to give up on the flavours of summer. Grab some colourful fresh produce and get cooking, a taste of Mediterranean sunshine is right at your fingertips!

On the menu

Appetizer

To start off your meal, look no further than the well-known specialty of Nice: the niçoise salad.This quintessentially Provençal dish is a perfect refreshing and simple starter.

How to make it?
In a salad bowl, mix potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and lettuce. Add a classic vinaigrette and mix well to coat all ingredients.Garnish with tuna, olives and quartered hard-boiled eggs.

To accompany your delicious salad, we recommend a rosé or white wine from one of Provence’s vineyards.

Main course

Next, we’ll look to Marseille for inspiration to make its famous seafood stew bouillabaisse. Bursting with fresh fish and vegetables, this dish is like summer in a plate! It requires some lengthy preparation, but the results are well worth the effort.

How to make it?
The secret to a good bouillabaisse is in the fish: a variety of types should be used, along with small crabs.
At least three kinds of fish are traditionally used, particularly red rascasse, sea robin and European conger. You’ll also need summer produce, like tomatoes, onions and leeks, and no bouillabaisse is complete without the flavours of saffron, fennel, garlic, thyme and bay leaves.

 Dessert

Just in time for back to school, some fruits are in height of their season in the fall. We’ll be focusing on two: figs and Mirabelle plums.

Figs are used in many dishes in the Marseille region from late August through late September, but you can also find them in Aquitaine, while the Mirabelle is very popular in Lorraine.

Not sure what to make with these delicious fruits? This simple dessert idea will take you right back to summer vacation: fig and Mirabelle tartlets.

How to make it?

  • For 6 servings, mix flour (one cup), butter (1/2 cup), one egg yolk, sugar (1/3 cup) 3 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
  • Mix ingredients together, cover and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
  • Divide dough into 6 balls of equal size.
  • Spread dough to fill molds.
  • Prick the outside of each tartlet crust and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Arrange the fruit in the crusts, add cream and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Once you take them out of the oven, sprinkle vanilla sugar over the tartlets.

September is also a great time to make jams. At the end of the season, fruits are sweeter and less expensive. So whether it be strawberry, raspberry, prune, pear or any other variety, you’ll surely be hooked once you try homemade jam!

Must-visit spots

If cooking isn’t really your forté or you just want to enjoy the best dining France has to offer, these restaurants are sure to please.

  • L'Escalinada: Niçoise specialties in Old Nice

The menu here is made up of traditional Mediterranean dishes crafted by chef Henri Cagnoli: think fried zucchini, house stockfish, fresh Niçoise-style octopus and cuttlefish, homemade ravioli, and gnocchi. Your eyes and your tastebuds will thank you!

22 rue Pairolière - 06300 Nice - Tel: +33 (0) 4.93.62.11.71

  • Restaurant Michel: The best bouillabaisse in Marseille

Along with this classic Marseillais dish, other specialties served up here include fish soup, bourride (another variety of stew) and grilled fish.

6 rue des Catalans - 13007 MARSEILLE- Tel: +33 (0) 4.91.52.30.63

  • Les Tuileries: gastronomic moments in Lorraine

Les Tuileries offers refined cuisine with a multitude of flavors in a lively setting. On the menu are roasted rib of veal with fig confit and pistachios, flambéed duck filets served with Mirabelle plums, and Mirabelle profiteroles with white chocolate.

Route de Cuvry - 57420 Fey - Tel: +33 (0) 3 87 52 03 03

Events

This two-day festival offers a variety of fruit-centric activities, from cooking workshops to produce tastings and visits to Chasselatière farms.

The medieval village of Vézenobres, near Alès, hosts a big gastronomic event in honor of the fig, a symbol of the Mediterranean basin.

  • Truffle and Tastebuds festival (Fête de la truffe et des papilles)- Saturday, October 19 at Is-sur-Tille (Burgundy)

For this festival, artisans and demonstrations will be available all day long, including a market of fresh truffles, local produces and organic foods as well as events centering on truffles. Entry and events are free.