Feasting in France & Fennel Marinated Salmon


Last night, Paula (who is starting the food & wine trips in Provence) and I had a trial run of how our evenings will work when we take groups here. It was very interesting to have the opportunity to go to the fantastic market and to plan a meal around what was available to us. Provençal food tends to be light and made with local, seasonal produce with a Mediterranean influence. We were entertaining the family that own the vineyard we are staying on and some of their close friends. We stayed with local custom and had lots of dishes and accompaniments. We are truly lucky here as the tomatoes that are growing outside our door are so sweet and juicy that the addition of some fresh basil (also outside our door), garlic and olive oil (also made on the vineyard) make the most mouth-watering salad. So much so, that we have been eating it pretty much every day, mopping up the intensely flavoured juice with baguette! I wish we could have tomatoes like this back home…

We served a fennel marinated salmon with olives and rosemary breadsticks to start, so I have posted the recipe for the salmon below. We followed with a slow roasted shoulder of lamb with mint and lemon, cous cous with feta and herbs, the now famous tomato salad, and a garlicky yogurt sauce. Our guests very kindly brought a mesclun salad with mustard dressing. For dessert, Paula put our beautiful basil to work again in a strawberry, basil, mascarpone and Madeleine creation. Such a beautiful mix of flavours that went down very well with all. To finish, our guests had also brought a home made fig ice cream from the figs that are in abundance here. Served with Le Clos de Caveau Carmin Brilliant 2007, it was the perfect way to end a Provencal evening under the stars. I hope you enjoy the photos and have a go at the simple but delicate recipe! A demain…


Fennel Marinated Salmon

Serves 4


400 grms salmon fillet, very finely sliced
100mls olive oil
2 limes, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons chopped fennel herb
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ a green pepper, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon pink peppercorns, crushed
Sea salt


1.Mix the lemon & lime juices with the olive oil
2.Add the chopped fennel, pink peppercorns and shallot
3.Spread mixture out on a platter
4.Place salmon slices on top
5.Sprinkle sea salt on top
6.Marinate for 15-30 mins

To serve, sprinkle green pepper and fennel on top

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