The Tour de France starts today. I am a great fan of cycling, having participated in amateur races in a previous life and still owning half a dozen of bikes... getting dusty, alas! Since 1965 (1st Felice Gimondi, 2nd Raymond Poulidor, both recently deceased, 3rd Gianni Motta), I didn't miss any Tour de France, either on the radio or on TV, or even every day through the newspaper during my 1st stay in the USA in 1976, when the TdF was hardly known! So, for this Tour de France, delayed by 2 months because of COVID, I decided to combine two of my passions, biking and cooking. I will try to present every day (pardon me in advance if I miss one) a recipe from the area biked by the peloton.
Today, the Grand Départ of the Tour de France is Nice. In fact, the departure and finish line are both on the Pomenade des Anglais. So, I made petits farcis.
"Petits farcis" (freely translated by "little stuffed summer vegetables") is a specialty from the Nice area, consisting in filling available summer vegetables with any type of meat- or fish-based stuffing, generally leftover.
Here I stuffed vegetables from our garden (4 types of tomato, a mini squash, a mini eggplant), from The Chef's Gardena (baby green and yellow zucchini, green patty pan squash) and from the Farmers'market (baby bell peppers and onion). I blanched the vegetables, except the tomatoes and peppers, for a couple of minutes maximum in a salted water. I scooped the pulp out and keep it for the suffing.
My stuffing was a mix of thinly chopped lamb loin chop, saussage filling and hashed coppa, with the vegetable pulps, milk-soaked bread crumb, a whole egg, a puréed onion, (plenty of fresh) herbs, salt and piment d'Espelette. Little tip: as my filling was incorporating raw meats (therefore, the filling is less dry than if you precook it), I made a little ball of it and bake it for 20 minutes as a test to taste the seasoning and adjust it accordingly.
I baked the filled vegetables for 25/30 minutes at 350F and served them with some grated parmesan, with a homemade tomato sauce, and cruciferous leaves.
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