Saturday, July 27, 2013

A Day in my Provence Kitchen

Some weeks ago blackcurrants or cassis as they are called in French were ripe in our kitchen garden. I didn't have time at all to do something with those little vitamin C bombs so I just picked and froze them. And although we are not exactly having kitchen friendly temperatures in Provence right now,  the thermometer hovering around the 100F/ 39 C mark -  and I am talking shade here - needing to make space in my freezer somehow led to an extraordinary productive day in my Provençal kitchen.
 Blackcurrants ready to pick
 What a harvest!
 The same blackcurrants fresh from the freezer dusted with sugar
 Confiture de Cassis - Blackcurrant Jam

Once the jam was done I harvested three basil plants. Having just read a report that quite a lot of commercial pestos were found to be contaminated (this being a German and Swiss consumer warning) I found myself (kind of perverse, I know) yearning for some pasta al pesto which, once you know how easy it is to make yourself there is no need to buy the ready made stuff. Plus when you prepare it yourself you can be pretty sure there won't be nasty surprises.
 Basil leaves (lots), pine nuts, freshly grated parmesan, 2 garlic cloves, olive oil
 Blitz et voilà:
 Best ever pesto!

 Lunch today: pasta al pesto decorated with a few cherry tomatoes

Picking the cherry tomatoes for the pasta al pesto I found this: If you don' keep a beady eye on your zucchini I swear just overnight they evolve into these weird overgrown monsters that are extremely adept at hiding under the plant's leaves. This one weighed in at 2.4 kilogram (5.4 pounds) - its little sister weighs 160 gr (5.8 oz). Since I wanted to try out a new recipe for a "Clafoutis Provençal" I cut the monster up, threw out the soft core and, with a vegetable peeler shaved about one third into zucchini tagliatelle. The rest went into the freezer (there goes my hard won space...)  to be turned into zucchini soup when the days will get cooler.
 Zucchini Tagliatelle
 Clafoutis Provençal - with zucchini, olives, cherry tomatoes, garlic


  1. That all looks lovely!!! Going to France tomorrow!!

  2. will you ever post the recipe for the clafoutis provencal? it all looks so good! i am very glad we don't have your weather!

  3. Barbara, love those black currents which I have never found in the US. And the Clafoutis provencal..... you must post this recipe or I have missed it. Which I could have been in your kitchen with you.

  4. Barbara, your clafoutis Provencal looks yummy. I hope you will share the recipe soon. I would make it in a heartbeat. Have a great day.

  5. Could you please post the recipe for the intriguing Clafoutis Provencal? It looks like it would be a great side dish for roasted chicken or grilled fish.

  6. These dishes and your garden look so lovely! Enjoy it as much as you can! I've also frozen tons of rhubarb and blueberries so far. :-)