Have you ever been to Provence? I have never been to France but if I have the chance to go, Provence will be one of the areas I want to visit! This region of southern France stretches from the Mediterranean to the hills of Haute Provence, and from the Rhone River valley to the Italian Alps. It was the site of the first Roman colony beyond Italy and today it’s known for fragrant lavender fields, beautiful beaches like Cannes, Saint-Tropez, and Nice, quaint small villages, and fine wines and food. The cuisine of this area includes lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, seafood, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts—basically the core of the healthy Mediterranean diet.
I learned these things about Provence when I did a review a few years ago of Provence Food and Wine: The Art of Living, by François Millo and Viktorija Todorovska. This book introduces you to the geography, history, traditions, wines, and recipes of the region, one of which is Tomatoes Provençal. Since I love tomatoes, that is the recipe I chose to make from the book, and I’m reposting it now because it is a wonderful recipe for summer and a simple yet delicious way to use your garden tomatoes!
Fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella…three of my favorite things to eat, in one great salad…Caprese Salad! It makes a nice lunch or light dinner. And in the summer, if you have a garden and grow tomatoes and basil, it’s so nice to be able to go out to your backyard and pick your meal fresh from the garden! Here’s a gardening tip too: instead of using bug sprays on your tomato or basil plants, plant big bunches of marigolds near them—I’ve found that marigolds are great at helping to keep the bugs away!
If you’ve never made roasted tomatoes, you’re missing out—especially if you love tomatoes! While I like eating them fresh from the garden, roasting them gives the tomatoes such a rich flavor. They’re so easy to make, too!
I’ve been seeing lots of fall recipes just about everywhere lately, and this Bean and Barley Soup is a great recipe for the summer-into-fall time of year and all winter long, for that matter! Not only does this soup have healthy beans and barley in it, it also has lots of veggies and it’s cooked in a veggie broth. So if you make it in the fall, you can use veggies from your garden or the Farmer’s Market. Or make it in the winter when it’s cold outside—there’s nothing like a hot bowl of soup on a winter day!
If you like hummus, this is a great way to serve it as a casual meal! This Hummus Pizza uses your favorite store-bought or homemade hummus as the base, instead of tomato sauce, and is topped with lots of healthy goodies like cucumber slices, marinated artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, cherry or grape tomatoes, green onions, and feta cheese. These flavors are all great together and it’s kinda nice eating a pizza that’s good for you!