11 October 2009

A Taste of Provence

Könemann does great food books. They are well bound on quality paper, lavishly illustrated,and profoundly informative. The pictures are lush, immersing you in their local with photos of people, terrior and food stuffs. Könemann books follow a general theme. They take a geographic location as a whole and examine the various parts of that geography. For Provence, for instance they look at Montélimar, Vaison-la-Roamiane and Châteauneuf-du-Pape and around the coast to Nice, Monte Carlo and Menton.

Each region is highlighted for their unique and signature ingredients; from the Camargue, its salt production and its brandade and from Forcalquier the pastis and from Toulon its olives. Here is a recipe highlighting the plethora of vegetables produced in Provence:

Tomates à la Provençal

3 clove of garlic
1/2 bunch of parsley
12 small, nicely ripe tomatoes
A pinch of sugar
3 tbsp olive oil

Peel the garlic and wash the parsley. Chop together, and set aside. Cut the tomatoes in half horizontally, and sprinkle a little sugar on the cut surface.
Heat a little oil in a large skillet, and put the tomatoes into it, cut side down and closely pack. Sauté briefly over a medium heat until the juice has completely evaporated, and a caramelized coating has formed. Then turn them over and carefully sauté the other side. Season generously with salt, sprinkle with parsley mixture, cover, and simmer very gently.
Grab this up even if you never cook a thing. It makes a great guide book.

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