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Tag: tapenade

Menu Monday: A Few Hours in Provence, Salad & Socca

Welcome to Menu Monday! Woo! I’ve always wanted this site to be not just about individual kick-ass recipes, but also about how to put them together into a coherent whole that can be enjoyed by cook and guest alike. And now, a year and a half and nearly 250 posts later, there’s enough of those kick-ass recipes up for me to be able to knit them together into menus for you. I’ll also be hitting up some of my favorite bloggers to round out these posts to give you a taste of what other people are writing about and to help me fill in some gaps in my own archives.
And this week, it made sense to head down to Provence. The cuisine of Nice and the surrounding region has always been one of my favorites, with its reliance on olive oil, fresh seafood, and simple vegetable preparations amped up with powerful flavors like anchovy, garlic, and saffron.

My affinity for the cuisine was cemented during a VERY entertaining week and half spent trailing around Aix-en-Provence with the inimitable Grandma Neecie and her favorite opera tour group: listening to Verdi’s Requiem at the Roman amphitheatre in Orange, lunching on mysterious terrines and champagne cocktails at Michelin-starred restaurants nestled high in the Luberon valley, tackling boulliabaise on the corniche in Marseilles, and otherwise having a grand old time.

In ANY event, though, we can tackle terrines and boulliabaise some other day (I’ve drunk all the Pernod, anyway). For the inaugural Menu Monday, we keep it simple, no? Some really tasty, unique nibbles; a fabulous entree salad; and a simple, fresh dessert. Let’s get to it!

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The Anchovy Goes to Rehab (No, No, No): A Tasty Tapenade

tapenade1Anchovies. I’ll wait till the shrieks of horror subside… Are we good? Ok. Moving on. This recipe does, in fact, include anchovies. And olives. Two fabulous items terribly misunderstood in the U.S. I blame the pizza man. He’s the one topping his pies with vile, tasteless, tinny black olives and crusty, slimy, hypertension-inducing anchovies. Eckh.

Well. Let me clue you in; both anchovies and olives are delicious, many-splendored things that have nothing to do with their thankless, unappetizing positions atop your neighborhood pizza. Tapenade, the piquant spread from southern France, will be Exhibit A in my campaign to rehabilitate the tasty olive and versatile anchovy.

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