Petit Farcis a la Provençale (Provençal stuffed vegetables)

Following the success of our recipe blog for tarte tatin, we thought we’d share with you a delicious autumnal Provencal treat, petit farcis a la provençale. Stuffed vegetables can be done in a variety of different ways, but, as anyone who’s ever been to France knows, the French do food like no other, and for the most wholesome recipes around, Provence wins hands down. With such an abundance of food ripe for harvest, it’s the perfect time to come over and treat yourself to some of these wonderful dishes: daube provençale (beef stew, Provence style), ratatouille, tarte aux figues (fig tart), and tapenade (pureed olives with garlic, capers and anchovies). There are as many varieties of petit farcis a la provençale as there are chefs in the region. To what your appetite, here’s one great recipe. Give it a try, then book your trip and take a culinary tour of Provence.

Makes 6

6 eight-ball squash (or tomatoes, peppers or other vegetable for stuffing)

Olive oil

1 shallot, chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, chopped finely

1lb sausage (lamb)

1 cup shitake mushrooms, chopped

2 tomatoes

1 cup cooked brown rice

2 tbsps fresh basil, chopped

2 tbsps fresh oregano, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or 180 degrees Celsius and place a rack inside to warm up.
  2. Cut the top off the squash and lay aside. Scoop out the flesh and use for soup later.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the oil and sauté the shallot and garlic. Brown the sausage then add the mushrooms and tomato.
  4. When they start releasing moisture, add the rice.
  5. Cook for a few more minutes then add the herbs, salt and pepper. A little herbes de provence works well too.
  6. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for a couple of minutes.
  7. Stuff the squash with the mixture and place in the oven to bake, covered in tin toil for fifteen minutes then uncovered for a further fifteen.

The beauty of this dish is the versatility. Instead of rice, try quinoa or cous cous, change the lamb sausages for veal, try bell peppers in place of mushrooms. Some local varieties use only day-old bread instead of rice. Cheese is sometimes added, sometimes not. Even raisins have made it into some adventurous cooks’ petit farcis.

Dining out in Provençal cafes and restaurants is the highlight of many guests’ trips as the area is teeming with delightful cafes and Michelin-starred restaurants. There are cooking schools in abundance too. If you’d like to take some lessons from the experts, take advantage of our winter rental offers now and get peckish in Provence!