Courgettes, courgettes, and squid in batter

The time of year has arrived when we have the welcome ‘problem’ of how to use all the courgettes.  Our own plants are producing plenty and our wonderful hosts where we stayed while we were in the Minervois gave us several from their garden to bring home as well.  I like them simply sliced and fried in olive oil, but sometimes it’s good to have a change and this simple dish  of roasted courgettes with feta cheese and olives provided that.

I cut two medium-sized courgettes into chunks about 1 cm square and put them in a roasting tray with a couple of cloves of garlic, roughy chopped, some salt and some olive oil. After about 30 minutes in the oven at 200 C the pieces were beginning to brown and I added 100 grams of feta chopped into small pieces and some stoned green olives for the last 10 or 15 minutes of cooking.  Meanwhile, Lo Jardinièr cooked some rice and made a delicious concentrated tomato and caper sauce to serve with them.

This made a very good supper, followed by some sliced windfall peaches given to us by friends in the village over which I’d poured some viognier white wine from the domaine des Pascales.

And the squid?  Well, that was another meal – a real treat fror me when Lo Jardinièr makes this dish as it’s one of my favourites.  A trip into Pézenas meant we had an opportunity to buy two nice squid from one of the excellent fishmongers in the centre of the town.

Lo Jardinièr cleaned, skinned and removed the insides from the squid.  The fishmonger offered to do this for him so you may not have to do this.  He then cut the two squid (which weighed about 500 grams together) into rings.  He beat together 2 tablespoons of flour, a pinch of salt and a cup of water, beat an egg white until frothy but  not stiff and then folded the batter into the egg white.  He dipped the squid pieces into the batter and fried them in olive oil for no more than a couple of minutes.  They’re best served very simply with wedges of lemon, a green salad and a glass of white or rosé wine.

>After the rain / Après la pluie


Everything looks clean and bright after a torrential thunderstorm last night. Tous semblent propre et clair après un orage torrentiel hier soir.

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We’ve made more than 3 kilos of membrillo (quince paste) with the quinces we picked the other day. The recipe is on the Mediterranean cuisine blog. / Nous avons fait plus de 3 kilos de pâte de coings. La recette est sur le blog de la cuisine mediterranéenne.


And I’ve made squid stuffed with onions and capers ready for the arrival of our daughter, La Jardinièra, tomorrow. The recipe is on the Mediterranean cuisine blog. Et j’ai fait des encornets farcis d’oignons et câpres, pour l’arrivée de notre fille, La Jardinièra, demain. La recette est sur le blog de la cuisine méditerranéenne.

No more posts for a few days because we’ll be having fun with La Jardinièra. / Plus d’articles pour quelques jours parce que nous nous régalerons avec La Jardinièra.

>A cold market and garlic soup / un marché froid et la soupe à l’ail


It’s cold and grey today.  The woman on the fish stall, where we bought a squid, said she has got used to being outside all morning and not wearing gloves but she was shivering behind her display of cold, wet fish.  The charcutier told us there was snow in his home village of Lacaune, in the mountains to the north-west.  We bought some warming produce – poitrine salée to use in split-pea soup, fresh and cured sausage, garlic and some beautiful lemons.

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Aujourd’hui il fait froid et gris.  La poissonière duquelle nous avons acheté un encornet a dit qu’elle s’est habituée au temps, mais elle grelottait derrière son étalage de poissons froids et muoillées.  Le charcutier nous a dit qu’il y a de la neige chez lui à Lacaune, dans les montagnes au nord-ouest d’ici.  Nous avons acheté des produits qui vont nous chauffer – de la poitrine salée pour la soupe de pois cassés, de la saucisse fraîche, du saucisson sec, de l’ail et des beaux citrons.

Garlic and thyme soup / la soupe à l’ail et au thym

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I used the recipe in one of my favourite cookery books, André Soulier’s La Cuisine Secrète du Languedoc-Roussillon.  He gives several recipes for garlic soup and this is the simplest.  He says that it is eaten in Nîmes as a morning-after remedy for those who have over-indulged at the ferias.  I can’t give any guarantees about this, but it certainly tastes as though it will keep the winter germs at bay!

J’ai utilisé la recette d’André Soulier dans La Cuisine Secrète du Languedoc-Roussillon.  C”est la plus simple de ses plusiers recettes.  Il dit qu’elle se mange à Nîmes le landemain des courses des férias quand "la soupe au thym apaise les maux de tête et les aigreurs d’estomac".  Je ne peux pas offrir une guarantie, mais je suis sûre que les saveurs offrent la protection contre les microbes d’hiver!

To a litre of boiling salted water add the peeled cloves from 1 head of garlic (M. Soulier uses 6 cloves, but I like garlic so I added more), a bunch of thyme, 3 bay leaves, 1 onion studded with cloves.  Let it cook for 1 hour.  Put it through a chinois or a mouli légumes and reheat.  Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

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Squid rings in batter / calamares à la romaine

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We bought a lovely fresh squid in the market so that Lo Jardinièr could make one of his specialities.  The recipe will be on the Mediterranean food blog.

Nous avons acheté un joli encornet pour une des specialités del Jardinièr.  La recette sera sur le blog La cuisine mediterranéenne

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