Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Picnic out of Provence

An intense craving for fresh French food recently hit me out of nowhere. Maybe it's the memories from this time last year when I was getting some of my meals from a market on the Mediterranean coast, or maybe it's just that I've been stateside long enough for the novelty of eating my favorite American foods to have finally worn off. Whatever it is, I'm really starting to hope that Belgian markets and bakeries will be able to give me my fix. Belgium isn't France, but maybe the two country's marchés and boulangeries offer equally tasty wares?

In the meantime, I found a how-to article on creating a "grand and simple" Provençal feast that isn't helping matters much. My mouth waters just reading about the spread of fresh veggies, crispy baguette, and traditional aioli dip that typifies summer in one of France's most beautiful regions. The article offers up a simple recipe for Medjool dates stuffed with feta and spice as well as one for aioli. Top off your creations with items from the author's list of accompaniments and start enjoying a fresh taste of Provence at home. Lavender-scented breezes and rolling fields of sunflowers not included.


Zhu said...

If I remember correctly, Belgium had great pastries and wasn't shy about butter!

You won't starve, for sure ;)

Maureen said...

So great to meet you @ TBEX '09 this weekend... and to hear about our shared fascination of all things French! (Also glad to read you enjoyed my Chicago hometown... it IS a cool city, isn't it?)

Thanks for the inspiration about the Provencal picnic. You're reminding me that I need to get myself to our downtown Chicago farmers' markets. It's not EXACTLY Provence, but anything we can do to eat locally and support local growers is great for them -- AND for our bodies.

Let's keep in touch when we're both back in Europe!