Wednesday has been market day in our village since 1180 and for all this time it has been a meeting and trading place for people from the sea, the coastal plains and the mountains. Although it’s a small market now, the tradition continues with the regular stalls including fish from the Mediterranean and shell fish from Bouzigues, vegetables, some local and some from Provence and Spain, and charcuterie from Lacaune in the mountains to the north-west of here. Stalls selling clothes and household goods also visit from time to time, but the three food stalls are a constant.
I used to have a rule that I wouldn’t buy vegetables we grow in the garden when they are not available in the garden, but I frequently break this rule with aubergines. Although we have frozen and bottled ratatouille and other aubergine dishes, I like them too much simply sliced and fried in olive oil to wait until June when we hope to have our home-grown ones again. Our local goat farm at Mas Rolland has stopped selling cheese for the winter and will start again in February. Their cheeses are the best I’ve ever tasted, but luckily the village shop sells other, more commercially produced but still fairly local, goats’ cheeses, so I was able to make this salad with my contraband aubergine:
Fried slices of aubergine and red pepper, slices of goats’ cheese, chopped paprika, parsley and garlic, with toasted paillasse bread. Oh, and a glass of Domaine d’Estève wine we bought there this morning – the bag in box of AOC Faugères red that we always have in the kitchen. We also bought some of their best wine, Plo des Figues, but that’s for les fêtes when our family will be here.