It’s Summer, part 1
If we weren’t quite sure that it was officially the summer, a brief stay at our friends’ house in the south of France sealed the deal. They live in La Colle sur Loup, just 10 minutes from Nice and near the absolutely charming town of St. Paul de Vence. From their pool, they have a magnificent view of oaks, olive trees and pines, and inside a huge open kitchen, plus a fantastic market in town with everything we could need. There’s nothing like having a few days with no obligations, cell phones turned off, and nothing to think about except for how long have I actually been in the pool, should we play badminton or soccer, and is it time to reapply suntan lotion yet? But the most important of all, what to eat?
Breakfast was a delicious assortment of fresh breads served with creamy butter, Nicola’s father’s homemade jams using fruit from his orchards in Italy, along with juicy peaches and nectarines from the market, and big bowls of coffee and tea to dunk our bread in. Each day lunch was a fun moment of improvisation where we found ourselves with fresh ingredients, wanting simple salads and meat right off the grill. All that with a refreshing fruit dessert to follow, and we had our basic menu for each day.
An easy salad to make, no measurements necessary, just a finger from time to time to taste. For 5 people, we grated 8 small zucchinis (you can either use a regular box grater or a mandoline to get them nice and thin). Then grated fresh parmesan cheese over that and squeezed in the juice of one lemon. Next came some salt and fresh ground pepper. Lastly, we poured in about a half a cup of olive oil, and mixed it all up. Let it sit for a few minutes to let all the flavors combine, and you’re set.
While I took care of the salad, the men prepared the chicken and manned the grill. A simple touch of olive oil and fresh rosemary was all that was needed.
Grilled chicken, zucchini parmesan salad and another salad of fresh tomatoes, basil and vinegar. More bread to go with, a few more cheeses for the table. And lunch is served.
A table !