One of the most endearing and favorite of all Provencal dishes is Petits Farcis or stuffed vegetables, also known as lu farçum in the Niçard (Nice) dialect. They are the perfect and easy family meal that can be served hot, cold or warm and everyone loves to eat them. Petits Farcis are best made in the summertime when so many great vegetables, like sun-ripened tomatoes, round zucchini, and thin eggplants start to appear in the farmers’ markets but really can be made any time of year….
French Onion Soup is perhaps the most iconic and well-traveled of all French dishes. Worldwide it has seduced more stomachs than even our beloved New England clam chowder, which incidentally, is another French export. Onion soup is, as author Robert Courtine suggests, “a daughter of the streets… In her presence, all castes dissolve. Rich and Poor are equal in appetite.” Her simplicity seduces all….
My dog Lucy came up to our bedroom in the dark of night and gave me the sweetest lick. Her tail wagged hard as she aligned her body close to mine. Beaumont was snuggled so tightly to the left that I couldn’t tell where he ended and I started. He was peacefully snoring, happily dreaming of princesses and far off purple kingdoms. Lucy looked so happy with a twinkle in her eye that just screamed I love you. The three of us were intertwined in the bliss of the moment. It truly was serene, though I still had one foot firmly planted in the realm of the sandman. As I laid between these two sleeping beauties I started thinking what had to be done today. I grabbed my phone to see the time and Lisa woke long enough to ask what’s wrong. The problem was it was 3:30 and I was decidedly up. I walked down stairs, made coffee and dragged a comb through my hair. It’s thrown my rhythm off as I attempt to finish the first section of my book and put some assemblance of order to my life. Rather than labor at the keyboard slightly buzzed on yesterday’s wine I decided to shoot tomorrow’s side dish, Claude Monet’s stuffed onions. I have been reading Monet’s cooking journals and came across his recipe for ‘Oignons blanc farcis’, stuffed white onions. Something about the classic simplicity struck me. Have these with a great glass of wine and a green salad!