Monday, July 16, 2012

Provincial Picnics

Summer is the time for picnics.It's always fun to eat en pleine air as the French would say and what better than to add a Gallic twist to a fun outing.There's nothing like a baguette stuff ed with good meats and cheese, along with crudites. Add some cider or sparkling water , bring pillows and have une pique-nique worthy of Provence.

Sandwiches are a must for any picnic. Bring a crusty , light baguette instead of the usual boring white bread. it's delicious when cut into long slices and slaterhered with pate and cornichons. If you cant;get a good pate, sub in liverwurst mixed with a little brandy. You can also spoon tuna in olive oil on slices as well for a kind of Nicoise . Also layer on sliced roasted peppers and tomatoes and some olives too. Another treat is pissaladeire  Provencal pizza. This is usually premade but you can take an already made focaccio and top with chopped anchovies andblack olives along with  , caramelized onions that can be quicky made that morning.

Salad and fruit are vital parts of any good French picnic.  You can make a simple salad with a classic vinaigrette but instead of olive oil, try walnut oil or huille de noille. It's very popular in Southwestern France and usually drizzled over endive and Crumbled Roquefort cheese. Provence also yields up the famed salade Nicoise which is chock full of tuna and anchovies along with a host of veggies and greens. Fruit and cheese are musts and nicely finish off a piqué nique. Try cold plums or sliced strawberries. You can serve both with a creamy Brie or Camembert along with crackers. you even top the berries with the Brie. A French style picnic is a great way to celebrate the warm weather. Pack a few baguettes ,some anchovies or pate , fruit and a good creamy cheese.These are the perfect foods for a summer outing .Their flavors are reminiscent of a lovely meal in a beautiful country.

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