28 June 2015

Zen and the Art of Provencal Cookery, Part 3

In my first Provencal cooking lesson with Chef Gina Trevier, I learned all about olives. In Lesson Two we focused on an ingredient that features heavily in the cuisine of Provence, but is sadly overlooked in North America...

LESSON TWO: Anchovies

I'm not sure why we don't use anchovies more here in North America. It's a pretty innocuous little fish that adds a lot of umami flavour, but for some reason many of us seem to be afraid of it, never mind that it's already added to all kinds of foods (Caesar salad dressing, Worcestershire sauce...) After using it in several dishes in Provence, I'll be buying a jar to have on hand. There's a reason Dawn Summers loves them more than all the other fishes.


Anchoiade is a classic Provencal dish, usually made of just anchovies and garlic pureed with olive oil, and served with raw vegges or toasted bread. Gina adds a small avocado to her anchoiade to lighten it.

small ripe avocado
4 or 5 oil-packed anchovy fillets, rinsed
3 or 4 cloves garlic
olive oil

Scoop flesh from avocado (discard pit and skin). Cut garlic into smaller pieces. Place all ingredients in small food processor or blender. Puree until smooth.

Some of the veggies we served with our anchoiade

Jarred anchovies
Just a little fishy



Another classic Provencal dish, this is basically a flatbread topped with onions and anchovy fillets (you could also add olives if you like). Gina made her bread base with a flour ground from a local type of spelt wheat. If you want to try making this, you could use whatever pizza dough or flatbread recipe you prefer, or even use a pre-made one. Chop sweet onions, add some freshly ground pepper and saute over low heat with a bit of olive oil until lightly golden. Cover flatbread base with onions. Arrange several anchovy fillets on onions. Bake until crust is baked through.

Mixing the yeast and water
The dough after rising
Saute the onions over low heat until golden

Ready to go in the oven
Veggies ready to serve with the anchoiade: tomato, fennel, carrots, radishes & raw beet

The pissaladiere was deliciously sweet and salty with a crispy base.
Dessert was goat cheese with dried fruit. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures. If you want to try it sometime, just serve spreadable goat cheese (or whatever cheese you like) with slices of toasted bread and a variety of dried fruit on the side. Raisins, dried cranberries, and dried apricots are all good options, as are, I was surprised to discover, goji berries.

Lesson 3 coming soon.
Missed a post?
Zen and the Art of Provencal Cookery, Part 1
Zen and the Art of Provencal Cookery, Part 2

Photos ©Whimsy Bower

No comments: