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Mediterranean way of life

Today one is aware of the health benefit from mediterranean cuisine, which is  rich in fruit vegetables, olive oil and wine. This is the secret of this traditional and delicious cooking, of which the inhabitants of Crete for instance knew already four thousand years ago.. It is fresh fruit, dried fruit, red fruit, vegetables, herbs and other spices, and additionally good quality meat, poultry, rabbit, lamb or fish. Wine,consumed in moderation and in addition to the meals, as usual in France, is supposed to be good to reduce the risk of  illness of heart-and arterysystem. The so called “French paradox” indicates that in France the mortality rate of heart illness is one of the lowest in Europe, even though the risk factor is pretty high, and the French are convinced that this is because of the consumption of red wine.


Here are some recipes made from typical regional products, which can be found in best quality on the markets in the south.

Chestnut soup with onions

Ingredients: 225 g chestnuts, thyme,salt, pepper, 75 dl vegetable stock, two sliced onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, herbs, milk or cream, white bread.

Preparation: Cook the chestnut in water for about 20 minutes with the thyme and salt. Pour away the water and mash. Fry the onions in oil and add the vegetable stock and the herbs. Allow to cook for 10 mins, then add the chestnut puree. Allow agin to cook for 5 min, season well. Before serving, add the milk or cream and the roasted bread crumbs.

Tapenade (olive puree)

This recipe based on olives joins in a perfect way a good muscat from the region for aperitif, and is best on grilled white bread, but it also goes very well with vegetables, poultry or omlette. Good varieties of this product can be found on the markets.

Ingredients: 100 g fresh olives, 2 filets of anchovy, 50 g capres, 1 tablespoon of moutarde from Dijon, ½ laurel leave, olive oil, pepper and cognac.
Préparation: Mash all the ingredients until a fine puree

Jam from peaches

Preparation: Put the peaches in boiling water then it is easy to peal. Cut in quarters, remove the stone and weigh the fruit.

750 g sugar for 1 kg of fruit and 25 dl of water per kg fruit and heat it up to the boiling point. Add the fruit , boil 25 min and then take out the fruit and put them aside. Reduce the sirup, add the fruit again and boil for another 15 min. Put into glassware and close as long as hot.

Cèpe à la Languedoc

Ingrédients: 500 g cèpes, found on the markets in late summer, 1-2 garlic cloves, parsley, oregan, 1/2 glass of oil, salt pepper 

Preparation: Clean the cèpes and cut into slices. Prepare a “persillade” by chopping parsley and garlic. Put part of the persillade into a pot and cook the mushrooms on a moderate heat. Take out the cèpes and turn on  the heat, making the juice of the mushrooms evaporate quickly. Reduce temperature, add the rest of the persillade, salt and pepper. Allow to simmer for about 10 min. Heat up quickly before serving on hot plates.

Chickpeas from Carlencas

Ingredients : For 4 persons: 400 g of chickpeas from Carlencas (this local product is supposed to be the best), 250 g tomates, 200 g onions, 4 garlic cloves, cayenne, 2 dl olive oil, salt

Preparation: soak the chickpeas at least for 12 hours and then cook them  until tender. Add the salt afterwards, because they don’t get tender when cooked with salt. Peel tomatoes and remove the seeds, chop onions and fry  in oil, add the chopped garlic, pepper and salt. Add tomatoes. Add the chickpeas together with some of the boiling water and allow another 20 min to cook.

Snails in wine leaves

Ingredients: 500 g sanils, 250 g canard grease,  500 g onions, 50 g wine leaves, 400 g turnips from Pardailhan (navets), 25 dl olive oil, stock of veal, thyme, salt pepper, 50 dl red wine from Faugeres.

Préparation: Sauce: reduce the red wine until it is like syrup. Add the stock of veal thyme salt and pepper. Reduce to half.
Filling: chop onions finely, fry in olive oil. Add the sliced navettes (keep part of it for later), salt pepper and thyme. Tourney the rest of the navetes, fry in canard grease.season well and set aside.

Poach the wine leaves and keep warm. Heat the snails in canard grease, add the navettes and onions. Cover one tablespoon of the filling with one wine leave. On pre-warmed plates, arrange three of these filled wine leaves alternating with three of the Navettes, add a little of the sliced navettes and the reduction to it and serve very hot.

Aubergine tian on red and green peppers 

Ingredients for 6 persons: Well ripe vegetables: 500g aubergine, 500 tomatoes, 3 sweet onions from Lézignan (local product), 1 red and 1 green pepper, thyme, rosemary, 50 dl olive oile, salt pepper.

Preparation: Cut aubergines, tomatoes and onions in thin slices and place them on a plate, add salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and sprinkle with olive oil. Cover and cook in the oven. Finely chop the red and green peper separately, season and put in  a casserole, cover with water, season and then cook purree.  Keep the colours separately.

Tarte Tatin aux navets

Ingrédients: 200 g de farine, 120 g de beurre, 100 g de sucre, 1 kg de navets.

Préparation: Préparez la pâte brisée et laissez reposer. Pendant ce temps, épluchez et coupez les navets en rondelles. Faites-les revenir dans du beurre et après quelques minutes, saupoudrez-les de sucre afin qu'ils caramélisent. Disposez-les dans votre moule à tarte et étalez ensuite votre pâte brisée au dessus. Faites cuire 20 à 30 minutes. Démoulez et renversez.


Quiche aux épinards avec Roquefort et olives

Ingrédients: Pour la pâte: 250 g de farine, 125 g de beurre froide, 1 oeuf, 3 cuillères de vin blanc sec, 1 petite cuillère de sel. Pour la quiche: 800 g d'épinards fraîches, sel, 2 oignons, 2 cuillères d'huile d'olives, 3 gousses d'ail, poivre, muscat, 150 g de Roquefort, 2 oeufs, 100 ml de lait, 50 g d'olives noires

Préparation: Préparer la pâte et laisser reposer pendant 30 minutes dans le réfrigérateur. Pendant ce temps, hacher les oignons, les faire fondre dans l'huile tout doucement, ajouter l'ail et les épinards lavées. Assaisonner avec le sel, le poivre et la muscade rapé. Ecraser le Roquefort avec une fourchette, ajouter les oeufs et le lait, assaisoner (attention: le Roquefort est assez salé!)
Disposer la pâte dans votre moule à tarte et l'étaler. Mettre les épinards au dessus ainsi que le liquide avec les oeufs, le lait et le Roquefort. Ajouter quelques olives noires dessus. Faire cuire
30 minutes. (200°). Se mange avec une salade verte..

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