Fresh Fridays

June 13, 2014
Vol. VI No. 12

In This Issue
While most of France is not Mediterranean, three of the country's 27 regions are Mediterranean. The regions of Provence and Languedoc rim the Mediterranean from east to west, from Menton (Provence) close to the border with Italy on France's Côte d'Azur, to Perpignan (Languedoc) on the border with Spain. Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean, is also part of France.  

While olives are grown in all three Mediterranean regions of France, food historian Clifford Wright calls olives "the king of Provençal cuisine."  Olives are ever present in the dishes of this region, including the wonderful condiment tapenade, a mixture of olives, capers and anchovies. Another condiment, aioli, used on fish and vegetables, is made with olive oil, garlic and egg.  
The three constants in Provençal cuisine, according to Wright's reading of the experts in the cuisine, are "olive oil, garlic and the aromatic herbs, such as herbes de Provence or aromatic condiments such as pissalat," a mixture of anchovy puree, herbs, spices and olive oil.

Add plenty of vegetables and fish and seafood, and you'll have a veritable Provençal feast. See the recipes below or explore the suggested cookbooks for classically-Provençal dishes such as ratatouille, vegetable tartes and quiche, bouillabaisse, salade niçoise, olive oil-braised leeks or onions, vegetables with herbes de Provence, and fish with olives and garlic, or with aioli.  

The region of Languedoc has much in common with Provence. Along the seacoast, there is a famous dish, bourride, a fish stew with garlickly mayonnaise -- very similar to the bouillabaisse of Marseille. Closer to the border with Spain, the gastronomic traditions of Catalonia and Spain are felt. Tapas and pork are common on menus in this part of Mediterranean France. Languedoc is also known for wine and for rice production.  

And, as is true of most of France, the cuisine changes from town to town. With a common foundation, each place has food traditions that are based on the ingredients that grow locally, prepared and passed down over the years, like family heirlooms. As you travel gastronomically around the Mediterranean, be sure to drink in the treasures of the French coast.  

Click on a photo or recipe title below to link to the full recipe. 
FoodMatch has taken a filet of wild salmon (seasoned simply with lemon, sea salt and pepper) and roasted it with Brussels sprouts and a pitted olive mixture. This preparation of a Provençal classic is fun for dinner parties -- with each guest receiving a foil-wrapped package on the plate.

Recipe, content and photo courtesy of FoodMatch Inc.
The city that gives its name to this salad - Nice - is the big-city-gateway to the beautiful French region of Provence. This classic salad - the salad of Nice -- brings together the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean land and sea. 

Adapted recipe and photo courtesy of the US Potato Board
You may think of the movie by the same name, however, ratatouille is a traditional Provençal dish from Nice, made of stewed vegetables. While it's often served as a side dish or served on top of bread, it is also wonderful served at the center of the plate along with rice or pasta.  

Recipe courtesy of Robin Kline, MS, RD; photo: fotolia

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be. 

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)        





Let the old ways be your guide to good health and well-being.       



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March 15-22, 2015
Aegean Coast
and Istanbul
Join Ana Sortun and
Oldways in Turkey for
a week-long journey
from Bodrum to Izmir
and on to Istanbul.

Contact Abby Sloane
at 617-896-4875
for more information.


by Patricia Wells
This book by Patricia Wells, legendary cookbook author and expert on French food, features the culinary specialties of Provence, where she has a home and a cooking school.

by Elizabeth David
With a forward by James Beard and Alice Waters, this book is a compilation of three of Elizabeth David's classic Mediterranean cookbooks.

by Georgeanne Brennan
This book is a memoir with recipes, recounting Brennan's love affair with Provence. It's also a story about how food can unite a community and bring people together.

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