Les Petits Farcis Stuffed Vegetables Provencal-Style
One of the most endearing and favourite of all Provencal dishes is Petits Farcis or stuffed vegetables, also known as lu farçum in the Niçard (Nice) dialect. They are the perfect and easy family meal that can be served hot, cold, or warm and everyone loves to eat them.
Petits Farcis are best made in the summertime when so many great vegetables, like sun-ripened tomatoes, round zucchini, and thin eggplants start to appear in the farmers’ markets.
Les Petits Farcis: Stuffed Provencal Vegetables
- 4 small Tomatoes
- 4 round Zucchini
- 2 small Eggplant
- 4 small Sweet Peppers
- 2 red onions
For the Stuffing:
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Sweet Onion chopped fine
- 3 Garlic Cloves minced
- 1 lb (450g) Ground Pork or Lamb or Beef
- 3 slices Bread chopped
- 6 oz (175ml) milk
- 1 large Egg
- 1 tsp thyme chopped
- 1 tbsp Basil chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley chopped
- 1/4 cup Grated Parmesan
Prepare the Vegetables:
- Tomatoes: Cut tops off and scoop insides out leaving a shell. Chop insides and save for stuffing.
- Zucchini: Cut tops off and use a melon baller or spoon to remove insides. Blanch in boiling water. Cool off in ice water then drain well. Chop insides and save for stuffing.
- Eggplants: Cut in half and roast skin side down on an oiled sheet pan at 350°F (175°C) for 30 minutes, or until tender. Scoop out excess pulp and save. Chop insides and save for stuffing.
- Peppers: Cut tops off and roast on the same pan as eggplants for 30 minutes.
- Onions: Boil in salted water till tender, about twenty minutes. Carefully remove two outer layers from each onion, trying to keep them intact. Chop insides and save for stuffing.
Make the Stuffing:
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet and cook onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ground meat and cook until browned and fully cooked.
- Add all the vegetable innards and cook for 5 more minutes, or until everything is tender. Remove from heat.
- Mix bread and milk together, then mix into ground meat. Add eggs and herbs and mix well.
- Stuff all the vegetables with the ground meat mixture, sprinkle with parmesan and bake in a 400°F (200°C) oven for 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Cover with vegetable tops on and bake 5 minutes longer.
Variations on Les Petits Farcis
Here are a few delicious stuffing alternatives:
Seafood or vegetarian stuffing.
Any seasonal vegetables to stuff.
Some provencal cooks use cooked rice instead of bread in the stuffing.
Use couscous or even quinoa in the stuffing.