A simple lunch

We’d spent most of the morning making ratatouille and stuffed peppers for the freezer and then treated ourselves to an hour out in the sun taking photos, so we didn’t feel like making anything too complicated for lunch.  One of our Spanish gardening neighbours had passed on an idea for a very simple courgette salad: finely slice the courgette, using a mandolin, a sharp knife or the slicing blades of a grater, add some chopped garlic if you like it (we do) and a dressing made from red wine vinegar (home made by a friend) mixed with a little honey then whisked with olive oil, salt and pepper.   I left the salad to marinade in the fridge for a few hours before serving to deepen the flavours.  I found that a piece of crusty bread was essential to mop up the dressing.

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And socca…

Socca, like pan bagnat, is a speciality from Nice and it’s also eaten on the other side of the Italian border in Liguria and Tuscany.  It’s a pancake made with chickpea flour and can be baked in the oven, although we use a frying pan just as we would for pancakes.  To make the batter for 2 plate-sized soccas: add a tablespoonful of olive oil, salt and pepper to 5 tablespoonfuls of chickpea flour and then mix in enough water to make a fairly thick batter.  Cook it in olive oil, turning once.  It can be eaten on its own, but we often use it as an alternative to bread, piling vegetables and/or fish (anchovies are good this way) onto it rather like a pizza.  Today we put a good spoonful of the ratatouille we’d made on each one and added some chopped green olives (black would have been more authentic perhaps but we didn’t have any) and garlic.  And we had some delicious fresh goats’ cheese from Mas Rolland to accompany it – a simple and very tasty lunch.

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