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Bonjour and welcome to the Blog by Nina!

As B&G’s brand ambassador and seasoned bonne vivante, I’m here to share my adventures through the stunning and varied wine regions of France. Come with me as I reveal the fruits of the country’s rich terroir: a refined gastronomy and of course, world-class wine.

Not only will you discover French food and wine, you’ll also learn about the country’s vibrant history, culture, and tradition. Tune in for travel tips, guides, recipes, and more to see what the B&G way of life is all about.

Nina

Food,

Rouelle de Veau with Carrots

Looking for a hearty recipe to keep you warm on chilly autumn nights? We’ve got the recipe for you!

Simple, yet flavorful, this one-pot dinner is just as good for entertaining guests as it is for an easy weeknight meal. Braising the veal shanks makes them fall-off-the-bone tender and the stewed carrots add a welcome hint of sweetness.

But the best thing about this recipe is that it gives you an excuse to open a bottle of white wine! Add two glasses to the pan while cooking, then pour a third glass just for you, to be enjoyed while you wait for dinner to be ready!

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Food,

Meager from Les Sables d’Olonne with Eggplant, White Beans, and Fried Onions

 

Les Sables d’Olonne is a little seaside town south of Nantes and north of La Rochelle, home to France’s fourth-largest fishing port. Here, fishermen specialize in trawling fish like hake, sole, and tuna. Meager is another fish that is abundant in Les Sables d’Olonne.

Delicate in flavor, but firm in texture, meager makes a practical canvas for playing with flavors and textures. In this recipe, enjoy the diversity of textures—the crunch of fried onions, the tenderness of cooked eggplant, and the smoothness of the white beans.

Preparing this dish with meager from Les Sables d’Olonne gives it a local touch and special flavor, though any meager filets will do.

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Non classé,

Ratatouille

You could say that ratatouille is the epitome of French cuisine—simple, local ingredients lovingly seasoned and prepared with care. Although the eponymous film, which takes place in a high-end restaurant, might make it seem like a fancy dish, it actually couldn’t be more simple. It is, after all, just a vegetable stew, like many others you might find around the Mediterranean.

However, there are a couple things that make ratatouille stand out above other veggie stews. The first is local seasoning. Stewing your vegetables with a bouquet garni consisting of the traditional herbes de Provence (rosemary, marjoram, thyme, oregano, and even lavender) will infuse your ratatouille with the unmistakable flavor of the South of France.

The second tip is to cook each of the vegetables individually before stewing them together to make sure each ingredient maintains its flavor as much as possible. This little touch might add a few extra minutes to the preparation, but trust me, it’s totally worth it!

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Non classé,

Pesto Pasta with Burrata

OK, you got me. Pesto is not French. However, it does do a good job of representing the regional flavors of the South of France. After all, Genoa, the birthplace of pesto, is just a short jaunt down the coast from Nice—not even three hours by car.

This tangy, and verdant sauce is a timeless indulgence. In the summer, it adds rich flavor to light vegetable and seafood dishes. But now that we’re approaching the Fall, I thought it’d be more timely to pair it with hearty pasta and fresh burrata to make it extra filling!

Although you can easily find pesto in any grocery store, it’s 100x better when you make it yourself. Here, you’ll learn how to make it with a food processor, but if you want to be really traditional, you can go at it by hand with a mortar and pestle.

 

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Non classé,

Clams in Persillade

I think it goes without saying that the Mediterranean Coast is a paradise for seafood lovers. Fresh fish and shellfish take center stage in so many Provençal specialties, such as cured, dried fish, aromatic fish soup, and of course, bouillabaisse—Marseille’s famous seafood stew.

As amazing as all of those dishes are, there is a much simpler dish that, for me, is unbeatable. And that’s palourdes en persillade. Palourdes, known elsewhere as carpet shell clams, are some of the finest and most popular clams in the Mediterranean and along the Atlantic Coast.

Every culture and region of the Mediterranean has its own ways of preparing clams. In the South of France, they are tossed in an herb-rich and creamy persillade sauce that is as delicious as it is simple to prepare. Learn how to make this timeless dish below!

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Food,

Aïoli

Like many other specialties from Provence, aïoli goes back a long, long way. In fact, the first recorded mention of it dates over 2,000 years! When you taste it, you’ll understand why it’s stood the test of time.

Creamy, garlicky, and mouth-wateringly delicious, aïoli is the perfect partner for fresh veggies—raw or cooked. But that’s not all…you can also spread it on sandwiches, dollop it onto roast meats, use it as a dip for seafood, or as a topping for hard-boiled eggs.

Making aïoli is very similar to making homemade mayonnaise. It involves lots of stirring and patience. You can use a whisk to make the job a bit easier, or you can do it the traditional way with a mortar and pestle, as described in the recipe below. This way may require a bit of extra effort, but it’ll be worth it for the authentic taste!

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Food,

Sea Bass Carpaccio

The Mediterranean city of Sète on the Languedoc Coast doesn’t attract quite as many tourists as the beach hubs of the Côte d’Azur, making it a low-key destination for seaside fun and also, of course, for food and wine.

In this port city, you’ll find docks lined with fishing boats and trawlers bringing in the catch of the day. As a result, the city is abundant with fresh sea food, like this sea bass I had the pleasure of trying during my visit.

Sea bass, also called branzino, is a popular fish all across the Mediterranean. Here, it’s prepared in the style of Italian carpaccio, which gives you a sense of Sète’s local gastronomy. As a port city connecting hubs around the sea from North Africa to Italy, Sète is home to an interesting mix of cultures, especially when it comes to food.

This simple, delicate dish is perfect as an appetizer or a light meal. A wonderful choice for the summer and a perfect companion for a glass of white wine!

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Food,

Tapenade

I love snacking, so you can imagine just how pleased I was to discover the many small dishes that come from the French Mediterranean Coast. Panisse, socca, pissalidière, aïoli, marinated bell peppers and olives…so many yummy finger foods to devour! Still, as delicious as all of these dishes are, none of them compares to tapenade.

Tapenade is a typical Provençal recipe that combines olives and capers. The the star ingredient may be olives, its name actually comes from the Occitan word for capers, tapena. These two primary ingredients give it a briny, salty flavor, while the addition of anchovies gives it an umami kick.

It’s great for dipping breadsticks or dolloping onto little slices of toast and it’s so appetizing, you’ll practically inhale it. What’s more, tapenade is simple to make. Check out the recipe and see for yourself!

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Food,

Potato Fricassee with Tuna, Prawns, Monkfish, Clams, and Caramelized Chicken Drumsticks

Le père Ouvrard restaurant is one of the culinary gems of Cap Ferret, with dishes just as electric as the decor. This dish, which blends fricassee with a lean surf and turf is a prime example. The original recipe calls for Ile de Ré potatoes AOP, making it a kind of sampler dish of the flavors of the French Atlantic coast. If you can’t get your hands on these premium spuds, any firm, yellow potato will do fine

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