SEASONAL RECIPES TO PREPARE AT LA VILLA LES FLOTS BLEUS
THE winter recipe: sea urchins
In your back “garden” just beyond the steps lies a hidden treasure: hundreds of succulent sea urchins! They are all over the sea bed and waiting to be picked. Follow the coast to your left with a good winter wetsuit, a mask and a snorkel. You’ll find them on the seabed lying on the rocks. It’s better to have a pair of gloves and a fork to pick them. Don’t pick the dark ones: they are the males and they don’t have any eggs!
You are allowed to pick sea urchins from 15 November to 15 April. Each diver is allowed to pick a dozen. Opening them at the bottom of the steps of the Villa Les Flots Bleus is the ultimate luxury.
Sea urchins are best when tasted with a good glass of white wine and a fresh baguette. We recommend Château de Fontcreuse (Cassis)
Spring: MINTED ASPaRAGUS
Bring a pan of salty water to the boil. Snap the asparagus where they are firm and plunge them in water for about 3-5 minutes. Take a few mint leaves and slice them up into fine strips. When the asparagus are nice and al dente, strain them, add the mint and add a trickle of olive oil (or argan oil) and some organic Camargue fleur de sel and a tiny lug of Balsamic vinegar.
This recipe is best served with a chilled glass of rosé. We recommend the organic Domaine Pieracci (Bandol – You can find the Pieracci shop in Les Lecques) or a Chateau Ste Marguerite (Cotes de Provence).
Summertime is Sardine season and you can find them in almost any fishmongers. They also taste so much better in the shade of the scorching sun. To prepare them, get Monsieur to start the barbecue, eviscerate the sardines and remove as many scales as possible (ask your fishmonger if you’re too squeamish). Don’t remove the heads. Grill them on the barbecue (but not too long).
Serve with some Fleur de Sel, fresh lemon and possibly a trickle of olive oil. Eat with fingers: it’s the holidays after all!
Serve with chilled White wine, we recommend : Domaine Bunan, Moulin des Costes (Bandol)
Autumn: pumpkin, feta cheese and chestnut soup
The tastiest pumpkin to choose for this recipe is a “potiron” (see photo) which is smaller than the Halloween pumpkins. Empty the pumpkin (but keep the skin on if you want), take a leek, a sweet potato and an onion. Dice the vegetables grossly and gently brown them in a lug of olive oil. Add water to cover the veggies and add a bouillon cube (or salt + thyme + parsley + rosemary and a bay leaf). Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes or until the vegetables are all soft.
Remove the bay leaf, mix the soup in a blender and add a touch of creme fraiche. Serve in bowls with crumbled feta cheese, crumbled cooked chestnuts from the Ardèche and a pinch of Piment d’Espelette.
Serve with wholemeal fresh bread (pain de campagne or pain aux céréales) and a velvety red wine. We recommend aerating a room temperature Domaine Tempier (Bandol)