Last weekend we were invited to our neighbor Germain's 80th birthday party. Germain is a true Provençal. Born in the old part of Vaison (la vieille ville) he did his military service in Germany where he met his beloved Lise, his wife of now almost 60 years.
Germain and Lise
As a true Provençal Germain knows how to work and how to party. So we started the sumptous birthday feast with a very typical Provençal apéro: Chilled Rosé, fruit juices, Pastis and an anchoïade. This is a dip that is not for the faint hearted. Typically served with lost of crunchy vegetable sticks it is one of these things - like oysters or cilantro - that you either love or hate. I do adore it but it is an aquired taste.
So here comes the recipe for all you anchovy addicts out there (and especially for Tim who came to cook with me at Cuisine de Provence last week and when anchovies were asked for gracefully bowed to the wishes of the three ladies he cooked with, who were not too fond of those salty little devils):
100 g of anchovy fillets
10 or so fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
good olive oil
Put all ingredients except the olive oil into a mortar and pound into a thick paste. Slowly add olive oil until you have a sauce like consistency.