Roasted Potatoes with Persillade

A tasty recipe for roasted potatoes Provence style: Leaving the potato skins on is healthy and the Persillade adds zest. Goes well with meat dishes.

Lentil, Sausage and Mushroom Gratin

A lentil gratin recipe from France, using Puy lentils, smoked sausage and mushrooms. You can make the gratin ahead, just pop it into the oven shortly before.

Provençal Potatoes

Tian à la Comtadine is a traditional potato dish of the Provence. “Tian” is a gratin dish and “Comtat” means duchy. This is a popular side dish in France for meats and fish. But I also like it as a vegetarian choice accompanied by a green salad.

Cèpes (Mushrooms) à la Provençal

The type of mushrooms normally used for this dish are Cèpes, a French term which should be applied only to the Porcini variety. For this dish, you may also use cultivated mushrooms, like champignons, as long as they are fresh.

Baked Potatoes with Olives

Potatoes, onions, red peppers, olives and a few spices baked in olive oil – it’s amazing what a few good ingredients can do to a simple dish. It could even serve as a vegetarian main course.

Jalapeno Corn Fritters

I am quite a fan of corn fritters. They herald the summer with their sunny color. They are easy to make and always a winner at BBQs. The good news is that you do not need to wait for the summer season to have them. When using canned corn, run them briefly under water and drain. Frozen corn needs only to be thawed.

Cannellini Beans with Broccolini

A versatile dish with great color and contrasting flavors done in a jiffy thanks to a pantry staple, canned Cannellini beans. Comfort food in many shapes. A satisfying vegetarian choice, a side dish to your choice of meats and a great pic-nic take along.

Zucchini, Mozzarella, Red Pepper and Anchovies Bake

Parmigiana di Zucchini, Mozzarella e Acciughe, a dish which has been around since Roman times. Because of their long shelf life, anchovies were used then as today to flavor dishes. No wonder, anchovies are still the “little secret” in many Mediterranean dishes. Please use good quality anchovies, not the dismal canned ones you find in many US supermarkets.

Portuguese Punched Down Potatoes

Batatas a Murro, meaning punched down potatoes, is the name of this traditional Portuguese dish. Potatoes “get to know your fist” while still warm and then drizzled with garlic olive oil and a dash of vinegar. Frankly, I rather punch gently with a coffee mug.

Asparagus with Tomato Vinaigrette

Choose your asparagus spears well and you will be rewarded. Look for spears that are firm and have a glossy green. Avoid any dry and wrinkled ones. Tips should be upright and green, not looking tired.

Serve on its own or as a side dish to grilled meats.

Julienne of Zucchini and Peppers

To “julienne” or to “cut into matchsticks ” is a basic technique in cooking, especially in French cooking. It’s used primarily for vegetables. Its a type of cut that makes a long thin strip, resulting in a relatively short cooking time and a very appealing presentation.

White Asparagus with Honey Mustard Dressing

Spring in the Provence, mounds of white asparagus deck the stalls of weekly green markets. They are often referred as “the vegetable of the kings”, rated far superior as their green counterparts. Unlike green asparagus, white ones need to be peeled to remove the bitter skin before cooking.

Mushrooms Tuscan Style

Funghi alla Toscana is incredibly popular in Italy. This recipe uses different types of mushrooms many of them perhaps not readily available in your region. Not to worry, pick ones available at your market. Do not use frozen or dried ones. Freshness is the key to the flavor.