5 of the Best Provencal Recipes Inspired by Southern France
Looking for authentic cuisine? Are you a big fan of France? If you said “yes” to both of these, then read on!
Of all the places in the world, France is well-known for its various cuisines that many curious foodies and tourists want to get their hands on right now. Yes, there’s no national cuisine more venerated than that of France, and no French region more famous for its culinary wonders than in the southern region of the country. So, the next time you take a trip to Provence – or at least, want to experience the best of the South of France at home – check out these 5 great cooking ideas!
First, Aioli is a unique dish to consider, when it comes to Southern French cuisine. In fact, this dish is actually a foundation of Provençal cuisine. So, what is it?
Aioli is actually a sauce that you can either have as a sandwich topping or have as a dipping sauce for your fries. To create this zesty-yet-creamy complement to many of your dishes, all you need are a mixture of:
• Olive oil
• Egg yolk, AND
• Lemon juice
Or, you can eat aioli like Provence locals do – surround it with plenty of boiled vegetables, poached fish, and hard-boiled eggs, making it a great dipping sauce for almost anything!
2. Soupe au Pistou
Soupe au Pistou (or Pistou soup) is Provence’s way of providing a more common and tastier Italian pesto. Normally, pesto is made with garlic, basil, pecorino cheese and pine nuts, which are then ground together to form a paste that can be added to pasta or sandwiches. The Provençal pistou has a similar process, but it doesn’t have the pine nuts.
In fact, the Pistou “pesto” is added to a soup made with white beans, green beans, and tomatoes. Sounds yummy, right? If you want to experience this dish, then try some during the summer. Why? According to purists, this dish is a summer soup, traditionally eaten in July and August, when all the ingredients are deemed fresh, in season, and with the most flavour.
Essentially a pancake made from chickpeas, Socca is made in the same way as a crêpe and is a delicacy in Nice and its Italian neighbours. While it’s a common street food of Nice, locals swear that it’s a must-eat menu item, especially when touring the market stalls in town.
Here are the best places to grab this delicious food item, if you happen to stop by Nice:
• The restaurant Lou Pilha Leva
• The Flower Market (at the Chez Theresa cart)
• The Marché Forville in Cannes
Believe it or not, this dish from Southern France now has a large following, thanks to health food crazes and the well-known Pixar film of the same name. Originally dismissed as a peasant meal of inexpensive vegetables, ratatouille has now become an iconic French dish. The stew is made up of the following (if you were curious to make some yourself, of course):
• Zucchini, AND
• Bell peppers
Slow-cooked with garlic and herbes de Provence, this dish is super easy to make!
5. Galette des Rois
The galette des Rois (or the “cake of kings”) is a common Christian dish that’s eaten during the end of Christmas or Epiphany in many Christian countries – and Provence is no exception! While some variants are made out of puff pastry and frangipane, the Provence equivalent is made from brioche and candied fruit.
Fun fact: Every year after the 12th day of Christmas and before Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday), friends and families in Provence have galette des Rois for dessert, of which they’ll hide a plastic figurine of the baby, Jesus, inside it – whoever finds the baby Jesus inside their piece of cake is named king or queen for the evening. Or, beans would be hidden, offering good luck to whoever finds them inside their slice.
With all 5 of these delicacies, you may want something to wash down your meal like some authentic wine from Southern France. Enjoy the recipes above.
Kendra Beckley is a writer and editor at Coursework help. As a business development manager, she oversees many business projects nationwide and builds long-term relationships with international partners.