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 is a lifelong traveler who got his first taste of overseas life during a semester abroad in England. But it was the expat assignment to Switzerland that made him really fall in love with Europe.

After returning to California, he and his wife Val dreamed of living abroad again but couldn’t find another expat gig, so they invented their own. Now they split their time between California and St-Rémy-de-Provence, delving ever deeper into what makes France so endlessly fascinating.

Keith is the author of One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, and Are We French Yet?, both available from Amazon.

This article is based on content that Keith is collecting for his third book, “An Insiders Guide to Provence,” with a publication date of December 2021. Click here to pre-order the book.

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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