Make this Fall Menu with Recipes from the South of France
Our 2023 fall menu brings a collection of Provencal and French Riviera dishes to your dinner table. The menu was created by Anina Belle, the culinary genius behind Le Chef’s Wife. In the last year of her business degree, Anina Belle was an exchange student in Nice, France. She had a good base of spoken French, having studied the language in school but was not fluent. However, one of her assignments was interviewing the Executive Chef of a beautiful medieval-style luxury hotel outside of Cannes, in Auribeau sur Siagne, for a term project. This was her first meeting with Le Chef – Sébastien Giannini. He is now her husband. Since then, they have lived in Nice, Montreal and now Washington.
Anina Belle’s Provence Dinner Party Menu
Fall in the South of France is my favourite time of year. I first moved to Nice in September, and all of my first tastes of France unveiled themselves in the Fall. My first fresh fig, dark purple and bursting with juice, a revelation at the annual Fig festival in Solliès-Pont.
The discovery of a decadent, winey daube Niçois on the Cours Saleya. Les Petits Farcis Niçois at my soon-to-be Grand Mother in Law’s house in Toulon. I had a new favourite dish with one bite of the slow-cooked savoury filling surrounded by melt-in-your-mouth, oven-roasted vegetables (my favourite is the tomato). I requested les Petits Farcis every time I visited my beloved Pierrette.
Falling in love with a handsome French Chef opened up a whole new world to me – full of culinary discoveries.
If I were to cook one meal to bring me back to that first Fall in the South of France, where everything was a mystery to uncover, this is what I would cook. We hope you are transported to the South of France with these delicious recipes. Contact us for PDFs of previous menus.
L’Apero – a Seasonal Cocktail
The art of the “Apéro” is taken very seriously in the South of France. A meal rarely starts without a welcome cocktail or glass of wine served with little nibbles to whet the appetite and make guests feel immediately welcome. I have written more about the art of the Apéro in this blog post.
The Kir Royale Cocktail is chic and refreshing. My favourite cocktail, made with champagne and crème de cassis, is also seen in the latest season of Emily in Paris. Most French café menus feature this delicious cocktail, a favourite for an after-work apéro (cocktail hour) with friends. You only need Champagne (Prosecco or other dry sparkling wine) and Crème de Cassis. Here are the directions.
The perfect compliment to the slightly sweet cocktail is Black Olive Tapenade. Tapenade aux olives provençal, or Authentic Provençal Olive Tapenade, is a delicious spread of olives, garlic, capers and often anchovies served in the South of France. Most restaurants and market bistros will serve a small dish of tapenade accompanied by totis (Provençal for small slices of toasted baguette) or vegetable spears when you sit down at the table. It is an open invitation to order an appéritif! Find the recipe here.
This is the best quick, easy French Baguette recipe ever! Do you want to learn how to make the most beautiful, crusty French Baguettes, even if you are a beginner at baking? This French Baguette recipe will immediately add a “je ne sais quoi” to your meal.
Les Petits Farcis Niçois, also known as Petis Farcis à la Provençale (Stuffed Provençal Vegetables) are a classic dish of French Riviera Cuisine. Tender garden vegetables, filled with a sausage and herb mixture and baked in the oven until all the flavours fuse to create an incredibly comforting and inviting dish. Choose to serve just one or two Petits Farcis for a starter or add a few more for a main course. Discover the ingredients and directions here.
La Daube Provençale is the South of France version of the classic “Boeuf Bourguignon.” Many of the ingredients and methods of cooking are the same. However, it is the addition of orange zest and Niçois olives that make this dish unforgettable. Here is how to make La Daube.
This Fresh Fig and Goat Cheese Salad is unbelievably good. The beauty of the fresh figs, the goat cheese’s soft decadence, and the honey dressing’s sweetness. A light, refreshing salad. Get the recipe details here.
The Sweet Finish
There is Crème Brûlée, and then there is Le Chef’s Crème Brûlée. A rich, decadent and silky smooth cream flecked with fragrant vanilla bean and a crisp, crackly top that shatters when you break into it. This crème brûlée is absolute perfection – and, with a few insider tips, it is easier than you think to make at home. Learn how to make Crème Brûlée like a French Chef.
Bon appétit! Please explore our Tastes of Provence database for more seasonal recipes and assemble your menu.
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