Provence Food and Wine cookbook cover

Provence Food and Wine … some pretty irresistible dishes

Yes, it’s a none-too thinly-veiled promo for Provence. Never mind! I love this cookbook that was doing the rounds at about the same time as the recent B.C. Wines from Provence spotlight.

Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living (by François Millo and Viktoria Todorovska) is a glorious, unabashed romp through Provence and all it has to offer. Beautifully photographed by Millo, it’s packed with no end of well laid-out, easy to execute recipes, organised by four principal regions—along with some pretty smart wine matches. Think tastes like tapenade, garlic tomatoes or spot prawns. There’s also a brief but comprehensive guide to Provençale wines and their AOCs.

Provence: Mt. St. Victoire and vineyards

Vineyards at the foot of towering Mont St. Victoire

If you’ve been to Provence you’ll know that much of its beauty flows from the endlessly shifting palette of colours, with a certain hue that really is unique to the region. I think this tasty little tome does a pretty good job of capturing and pairing it with a range of suitably tempting tastes.

Provençal specialty layered omelette

Provençal layered omelette—with rosé, of course!

With a whole six weeks of summer left to go, there’s plenty of opportunity to whip up the likes of a great niçoise salad, tapenade, tomato-sardine tarte, aioli and more…

At Barbara-Jo’s Books to Cooks (Vancouver), on line from Amazon, plus Kindle available. At around $20. It’s a steal.


And while we’re at it, some wines to go along:

There are few more delicious and food friendly drops as these drier style provençal wines. Also, the fact that they’re on our shelves longer than they used to be, and that they arrive in plenty of time for summer, have made them a whole lot more accessible.

Here’s a few (among many) to track down …

• Chateau Routas Coteaux Varois Rouviere Rose 2013

Sustainably grown, light and lively with stone fruit, tropical hints and a touch of minerality. Very refreshing. Think sautéed mussels or seafood soup. BCLS $21.99, 89 pts.

• La Bargemone Coteaux d’Aix Cuvée Marina Rosé 2013

Strawberry, citrus orange hints with melon and floral notes wrapped in a slightly more hefty palate, plus a wicked Bourbon style bottle. On its own or even with lightly spiced plates. BCLS $29.99, 90 points.

• Chateau de Brigue Cotes de Provence Rosé 2013

Elegant and understated 50/50 Syrah / Cinsault, with lifted red berry notes and a hint of slate wrapped in juicy acidity. Tapenade, garlic tomatoes or spot prawns. BCLS $19.99, 89 pts.

• Roseline Prestige Rosé 2013

Here’s a more everyday drinking drop from celebrated (Cru Classé) Chateau St. Roseline. Medium salmon coloured, with bright red berry and grapefruit notes, followed by a clean citrus toned palate underpinned by good acidity. c. $20; 90 pts.


Provençal onion tart or Pissaladière!

Well, you didn’t think I’d leave out the onion tart, did you? There must always be Pissaladière!


All images by François Millo.