Salade Niçoise is one of the great dishes of Southern France. It's the centerpiece of a summer party that's all about sunny Mediterranean style. A Niçoise salad isn't complete without the traditional accompaniments. Serve this with Niçoise tuna steaks, mixed olives, anchovies, hard-boiled eggs and steamed potatoes tossed with olive oil and herbs.
Any sage-spiked pork sausage can be used as the filling for this luscious potato cake (if the sausages come in casings, remove the meat and discard the casings). Don't be alarmed that the sausage isn't browned before it's layered with the potato—as the galette bakes, the sausage cooks through.
Christophe Emé says this is the kind of food his mother, Maryvonne, used to make when he was growing up in the Loire valley. Everything came from their backyard: the beans, the shallots, the laitue (similar to Boston lettuce), the eggs. His mother even made vinegar for the dressing. Emé refines and updates the recipe by using quail eggs instead of hen eggs and substituting arugula for the lettuce. Maryvonne used peanut oil in the dressing, as is traditional in the Loire, but Emé opts for olive oil instead.
Marinated Goat Cheese, Olives, Artichokes and Tomatoes
Christophe Emé's late uncle, Auguste Fauqereau, had never been on an airplane; he made his own wine and goat cheese in the Loire because that's what he'd always done. Today, Emé spices up goat cheese with fresh herbs, salt and the piquant ground red pepper piment d'Espelette, then forms it into balls. He likes to serve them in a spectacular way, by packing them with olive oil, artichokes, olives and tomatoes in a giant jar that he sets out on the table with a big spoon for scooping.
Roasted Red Pepper Sandwiches with Tapenade and Basil
Over the past decade, young chefs throughout France, like Christophe Emé, have been inspired by the cooking of Provence. Although you won't see Emé's vegetable sandwich, made with baguette toasted on the grill, at cafés in Aix-en-Provence or Nice, the ingredients—olives, herbs, garlic and anchovies—are unmistakably southern. For a more substantial sandwich, add tuna or chicken.
The French call pound cake quatre-quarts ("four-fourths") because it is made with equal parts flour, sugar, eggs and butter. Jacques Pépin's mother, aunt and cousin all have their versions. He likes to fold in candied citrus peels to make a French fruit cake; he also loves plain slices dipped in espresso.