Keith Van SickleProvencal RecipesSeasonal MenusTaste

My Summer Menu from Provence

Enjoy the Relaxed Season

Summer is a wonderful time of year in Provence, with blue skies everywhere and brilliant sunflowers and lavender in bloom. My favourite time of day is the early evening when the heat of the day is past and you can look forward to a long, lazy meal.

Even if you are not in Provence right now, here’s a menu that will bring the flavours of the region to you. We start with a refreshing aperitif, move on to an appetizer and a main dish, and finish with a cool and refreshing dessert. I’ve chosen some of my favourite dishes, all very Provençal, and I hope you’ll enjoy them.

Start with a Drink:

You see people drinking rosé all over Provence in the summertime. On a hot day, some even add ice cubes to their drink! Here’s a recipe that adds some bubbles a refreshing rosé spritz.

Rosé Spritz Cocktail Mirabeau Wine Pure Provence Rosé

Nibbles with Cocktails:

What shall we have to go along with our rosé spritz? Let’s try panisse, that crunchy/salty chickpea fritter that’s so popular in Provence. It’s a great way to wake up the appetite! It’s delicious and, for our friends who have trouble eating wheat, it’s entirely gluten-free.

Panisse – Chickpea Fritters

Panisse Chickpea Fritter Recipe Cote d'Azur Tasha Powell

Main Course:

You may already be familiar with aïoli, that fragrant garlicky mayonnaise. It’s the centrepiece of Le Grand Aïoli—a big bowl of aïoli surrounded by fish, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and seasonal vegetables. There’s no better time to have it than in the summer when the markets are full of fresh vegetables bursting with flavour.

France is a Catholic country and traditionally Catholics ate fish on Friday. The good people of Provence, who love their garlic and appreciate the gifts of the land, added this bounty to their fish to make Le Grand Aïoli, still the traditional Friday meal in the region.

Le Grand Aioli Provencal

Le Grand Aioli Provence Recipe


Nougat is a popular French treat and the best version comes from Montélimar, a charming town at the northern tip of Provence. Here’s a recipe for a cool, refreshing frozen nougat, a perfect way to end a meal on a warm summer day.Frozen Nougat Recipe

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Summer Menu from Provence

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Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle

Keith and Val Van Sickle made their first trip to Provence decades ago, and it was love at first sight. After that, they came back every year until 2008, when they began a part-time life there, splitting their time between Provence and California.

Over the years, they’ve travelled all over Provence, seeing sights both well-known and obscure. Their French friends have introduced them to favourite restaurants and wineries and picnic spots and taught them funny local expressions (not all for polite company).

Keith now shares this local knowledge in his new book, An Insider’s Guide to Provence. Packed with the Van Sickles’ favourite things to see and do, it’s a must-have for anyone travelling to this glorious corner of France.

Keith previously published two books about the couple's experiences in Provence. One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, and Are We French Yet?, both are available from Amazon.

You can see all of Keith’s blog posts at Life in Provence.


  1. blank
    August 18, 2020 at 3:17 pm — Reply

    Hello. Really enjoying your posts. This is a great menu. Perfect for summer. Thanks.

    • blank
      August 18, 2020 at 4:51 pm — Reply

      Thank you Abi! Enjoy the #TastesofProvence

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