La Cuisine Niçoise

File:Food shop at Nice.jpgLa Cuisine Niçoise” is the food of the French Riviera.  Mediterranean cuisine is not only a delight to the palate, but has also been shown to have health benefits.

First secret: The MENU
Choose the recipes according to the season.  Using in-season fruits, vegetables, and fish is one of the secrets to the exquisite tastes of the French Riviera.

Second secret:  SHOPPING
French markets feature fresh vegetables, first class meat and fish. To get the same ingredients in the U.S., venture beyond the traditional chain grocery stores and shop at local farm stands, farmer’s markets,  butcher shops featuring local grass-feed meat and free range poultry, and fish markets carrying fresh, wild fish.

Stock your pantry with high quality extra virgin olive olive, sea salt, and fresh garlic cloves.  If you have room on your window sill, a few fresh Mediterranean aromatic herb plants, like thyme, sage, rosemary, basil, savory, fennel, marjoram, tarragon, oregano, and bay leaf will ensure you always have a convenient source of the herbs most commonly used in “La Cuisine Niçoise.

Third secret: COOKING
Recipes are guides; unless you are baking, you have flexibility with ingredients and seasonings.  Taste often as you cook, and make sure you leave enough time so that you are not rushed and can let the flavors develop.

Fourth secret: DINING
Set a beautiful table as a backdrop for the experience of enjoying a leisurely meal. While not everyone will be able to dine alfresco under an olive tree, the way they do in Nice, placing fresh flowers on a table set with crisp linens and floral stoneware will help make your experience more authentic.

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