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French Summer Menu Try A Taste of le Sud with Friends

Our 2022 summer menu comes from Emma Kershaw, who lives in the South of France near the Spanish border. Start the evening with a savoury octopus pie from Sète, followed by a chilled soup, then the Catalan variation of fish stew and a sweet fruit finish.

In June 2016, several French administrative regions amalgamated to achieve service and staffing efficiencies. One such change was Languedoc-Roussillon, the area that shares borders with Provence and Spain. It is now part of Occitanie. Incorporating the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean coastline, it is one of France’s major wine-producing areas. This is where Emma Kershaw and her family established La Maison du Rire (the House of Laughter), a wine and food school in Corbières. An author of two cookbooks and an accredited wine expert, Emma agreed to curate our French Summer Menu for 2022 with recipes from her book A Taste of Le Sud – A collection of recipes and wine pairings.

“Good food and wine should be celebrated, enjoyed together amongst friends and family.”~Emma Kershaw

Summer Dinner Menu 2022 (860 × 860 px)

Bon Appétit!

For me, summer here in the South of France is all about fresh vegetables and abundant seafood.

Nibbles with Drinks:

Tielle Setoise are spicy octopus pies brought to the region by the Italian immigrants; make them bite-sized or the size of a large pizza!

Tielle Sétoise - Octopus and Tomato pies from Sète
These hand pies are rather fiddly to make but the difference between the homemade version and the store-bought is worth that effort. I have experimented with all sorts of crusts and have come to the conclusion that this simple olive oil crust works best, as the dough is, well, too doughy to be honest. The addition of polenta gives a pleasing crunch.
Check out this recipe
Make Tielle Sétoise Octopus and Tomato Pies

First Course:

Tomatoes are bursting with flavour and need to be celebrated, in my opinion! Gazpacho should only be made with only the freshest and ripest fruit and plenty of herbs. It is refreshing and light, perfect for the hot balmy summer days.

Chilled Tomato Gazpacho Soup
Tomatoes, peppers, onions, and more blended together. You will need a good blender, a sieve and some patience but otherwise, this is such an easy recipe. No cooking required!
Check out this recipe
Tomato Gazpacho Soup Recipe

Main Course:

Zarzuela is a classic dish that feeds the crowds, served in enormous pans in all of the local markets.

Zarzuela Catalan Fish Stew
There seem to be as many versions of Zarzuela out there as there are days in the year! I am adding my version to the collection, enjoy!
Check out this recipe
Zarzula Catalan Fish Stew

Sweet Finish:

Strawberries in the summer are full of sweetness and perfume; this is the simplest of desserts. Serve chilled alongside my almond cake.

Strawberry Soup - Soup de Fraises
A tasty seasonal dessert best served with a glass of wine!
Check out this recipe
Easy Summer Dessert Strawberry Soup Soupe de Fraises

Get a PDF copy of this menu

For Pinterest Fans

French Summer Menu Try A Taste of le Sud with Friends for Pinterest

Emma Kershaw Bio

“Life is too short to drink bad wine and not be laughing!”

In 2010, Emma Kershaw and her family moved to Corbières, creating La Maison du Rire, a food and wine school out of an old, dilapidated winery. For many years, Emma has taught individuals and professionals about the world of wine, from beginner level to Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma. She has also worked with many chefs and restaurateurs on wine and food pairings.

At La Maison du Rire, there is a focus on the wines and the gastronomy of Occitanie. Here, under Emma’s guidance, students explore a wide range of courses about the wines and foods of this incredibly diverse region. It is one of the largest wine regions in the world with an incredible range of grape varieties, from indigenous to classic, a diversity of climate, soil, topography and the people creating the wines.

Emma’s recipes are so popular that many people asked her to create a cookbook, and now she has two books: A Taste of Le Sud and The Day Louis Was Eating / Le jour où Louis mangeait. The books are available in English or French, and the recipes are a combination of originals and her take on some classic dishes. Each recipe has a wine match chosen from the vast range of wines in the Languedoc-Roussillon.

Books A Taste of Le Sud

Get in Touch with Emma

La Maison du Rire (website)

Facebook page: La Maison du Rire

Instagram: @lamaisondurire

More Summer Recipes from France

Tomato Tart à la Provencal
Serve this savoury tart as a lunch dish with a crisp green salad, or as an appetizer with some rosé from Provence.
Check out this recipe
Tomato Tart Confit Tomatoes
Tarte Soleil - Puff-Pastry Appetizer
From the chef, "Provençals like things sunny and pretty, so this is a popular take on the local, traditional fougasse. It can be filled with any strong-flavoured spreadable mixture such as tapenade or anchoiade or a sundried-tomato paste or even a spinach/ricotta or goat cheese." 
Check out this recipe
Le Pistou Cookery School Uzès Blue Cheese Tarte Soleil
Summer Zucchini Squash Salad
An easy, refreshing salad for summer meals.
Check out this recipe
Quick Summer Salad Zucchini Recipe
Summer Salad: Barley Salad with Roasted Tomato and Thyme
Tender beads of barley dancing among roasted tomatoes, garlic, onions and thyme then topped with salty black olives,
Check out this recipe
Barley Salad Roasted Tomato and thyme
Summer fruit salad with Rosé reduction & mint
Melon, Raspberries and Nectarines are the base for this medley of summer's best, swimming in a Rosé reduction and tossed with fresh mint.
Check out this recipe
Summer Fruit Salad @Mirabeauwine
Summer Dessert Perfection Frozen Nougat
This combination makes ice cream sound boring! The frozen nougat with almonds, hazelnuts and pistachio is a great dessert.
Check out this recipe
Frozen Nougat Recipe
Summer Crab Rolls
Easy to make, these sandwiches are great for a summer dinner, picnic or lunch near a beach.
Check out this recipe
summer crab roll

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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