The Cote d’Azur offers some incredibly simple dishes with delicious tastes.
The area gets an amazing amount of sunshine year round, so everything here is fresh!
Some recipes are very healthy and relatively quick to make, but the list can be quite long.. so let’s just start with a few basic recipes that can be found around here.
For these 4 recipes everyone can pitch in so get the family involved in the kitchen and take a little tour around the Cote d’Azur!
Buy a slice in Nice or further down the Cote d’Azur, it doesn’t matter.
Onions are the main ingredient in this recipe but for those who don’t like onions, they’ll still like pissaladiere!
They are sold in almost every bakery in town and out in the countryside.
Eat it as an appetizer, as a snack, for lunch with a green salad or on the run. It’s meant to be eaten cold and the crust varies from very thin to thick.
Depends who’s making it 🙂
Serves: 8 | 2 pissaladieres 12 inches round (or square) |Prep Time: 1 hour | Cooking Time: 15 mn
2 lbs (1 kg) onions
2 pizza dough ready made (or make it yourself see below)
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary and thyme
10 black olives
4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Slice the onions very thin.
- Heat a skillet with the olive oil and add the onions. Cover on low for about 15 minutes.
- Uncover and continue to cook the onions until very soft and translucent. Another 15 minutes.
- Add the sprigs of fresh herbs, pepper and a few filets of anchovies. Let it all blend together. Don’t use salt as the anchovies are already very salty.
- Lay out the pizza dough on a round baking sheet. Place a thin layer of onions on each circle, the rest of the anchovies and the black olives on top.
- Preheat the oven to 450f (230c) cook the pissaladiere for about 15 minutes.
IF YOU WANT TO MAKE THE DOUGH YOURSELF :
500 g all purpose flour
250 ml of cold water
1 tsp salt
2 envelopes of dry yeast or 1/2 cube of fresh yeast
1 tablespoon olive oil
- In a large bowl add the flour. On one corner add the salt and on another corner add the yeast.
- Make a well in the center of the flour, add the water and start blending all ingredients.
- Knead until you have a smooth dough.
- Add the olive oil and knead for another 5 minutes.
- Cover and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
- Separate the dough into 2 parts. Roll out in a circle (or rectangle/square) and proceed with the instructions above.
Notes: You can make the dough by hand or you can use a machine. Pissaladiere is very common in the south of France and is most often eaten cold! You can cut squares or slices depending on how you made the dough.
From the Cote d’Azur all the way to the Italian Liguria, you can find different variations of pesto. Pesto is delicious. No doubt about that!
And the recipe is fast to make.
Spread it on fresh bread, mix it in with pasta, dip raw veggies into it. Do whatever you like it’s so good!
Serves: about 1 cup | Prep Time: 10 minutes
extra virgin olive oil
a handful of pine nuts (optional)
2 fresh bunch of basil leaves
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan
salt and pepper
- If using a pestle and mortar: Peel and chop the garlic cloves. Break up the basil leaves by hand and pound both until it forms a paste.
- Slowly add the olive oil while blending to add consistency to the paste.
- If using pine nuts then toast them lightly and add to the mixture, continue to pound until blended.
- Transfer to a bowl.
- Add 1/2 the parmesan to bind the mixture and get a creamy consistency.
- Drizzle some more olive oil if needed, salt and pepper to taste.
- If using a food processor: Add garlic, basil leaves and pine nuts (if using).
- Mix until the texture is well blended. Add enough olive oil, salt, and pepper and blend until creamy.
- When the consistency is good, place in a large bowl and blend in the grated parmesan.
Note: In the Cote d’Azur, they do not add pine nuts or parmesan.
But you can try both ways and decide which you prefer 🙂
You can freeze the pesto for 3-4 months by placing it in an airtight container topped with olive oil. Blend in the grated parmesan when the pesto is thawed and you’re ready to use it.
You can also put it in ice cube containers covered tightly to make single portions.
Some people add a splash of lemon but that’s up to you!
On the Cote d’Azur, Nice is THE place to try out this traditional recipe. The Nicoise salad is extremely simple.
Although depending on who you ask you will most probably get a million variations claiming theirs is the REAL salade Nicoise.
Just so you know in advance, you will never get it right without some real heated debates with locals 🙂
Here is the basic version (the real version?) to which non-purists add a series of other ingredients.
Serves 6 | Prep Time: 30 minutes
a handful of lettuce (mesclun if possible)
small red or green pepper
1 scallion chopped
5 basil leaves
3 hard-boiled eggs
6 anchovy filets
1 large can of tuna
black olives (the small ones found in Nice are used, but use what you have)
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil + 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar + 1 clove of garlic + 1 teaspoon mustard + salt and pepper
Prepare the dressing by blending well all the ingredients above. Mix well with a fork or shake in a bottle.
- Wash all the vegetables.
- Chop the red or green pepper into small pieces.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters
- Chop the scallions
- Break the lettuce by hand and wash it. If using mesclun just wash it.
- Cut the radish into thin slices.
- Boil the eggs until hard about 8 minutes.
- Flake the tuna and add salt and pepper
- Assemble all of the above ingredients nicely on a plate or salad bowl.
- Add the anchovies and the small black olives.
This recipe can be found all along the Cote d’Azur from Nice to Marseille and in between. It’s is a very healthy fish and vegetable dish steamed to perfection and accompanied by a delicious creamy garlic sauce.
Serves 4| Prep Time: 40 min | Cooking Time 20 min
4 filets of firm white fish
4 hard-boiled eggs
4 medium potatoes
1 broccoli or 2 handfuls of green beans
1 vegetable stock cube
For the SAUCE
2 garlic cloves
2 egg yolks
1 small teaspoon mustard
2 lemons and a drizzle of lemon juice, salt, and pepper
- Peel and press the garlic cloves
- Add the egg yolks and a splash of lemon juice.
- Add the mustard, salt, and pepper to taste
- Whisk the ingredients together and at the same time drizzle the olive oil. Don’t stop until it’s a thick and creamy consistency.
- Cover the sauce and put it in the fridge.
- Wash and cut all the vegetables. Cut the carrots and zucchini into large matchsticks. Cut the broccoli into small flower heads. Cut the ends of the green beans (if using)
- Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters.
- Steam everything for about 20 minutes or check when tender.
- In the meantime bring a large skillet with water and the vegetable stock cube to a boil.
- Poach the fish fillets for about 8-10 minutes depending on their size.
- If you prefer you can steam them instead.
- Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half, cut the lemons and arrange the fish and veggies together nicely on a large plate. (or individual plates if you prefer.)
- Serve with lemon wedges and the fresh aioli sauce.
Ratatouille is a bonus recipe from the Cote d’Azur –see recipe here.