Literally "bathed bread" in the ancient dialect of Provence, pan bagnat delivers meat, bread and salad all in one handful. You both brush the bread with oil and let the finished rolls sit for a few minutes to allow the dressing to permeate the bread and "bathe" it with flavor.
Meat master Bruce Aidells's inspiration for this Mediterranean-flavored leg of lamb was a dish he tried during the annual sheep festival in St-Rémy, Provence. During the festival, legs of lamb are strung up and cooked over an open fire, then served with a green-olive tapenade, which became the basis for Aidells's lemon-scented crust. "You can also use the crust as a stuffing in a boneless leg of lamb," he says.
When Cathal Armstrong was growing up in Ireland, his father (a travel agent and avid cook) made all kinds of Spanish and French dishes, including a great bouillabaisse. Now Armstrong serves his own phenomenal bouillabaisse, packed with shrimp, mussels, clams and monkfish. When he began offering the dish at Restaurant Eve, one of the first customers to order it was his mother, who was visiting from Ireland. She loved it, Armstrong reports, adding wryly, "Why wouldn't she? She's my mother."
Chef Laurence Jossel created this stripped-down version of the classic French stew, with creamy white beans, luscious store-bought duck confit, smoky French garlic sausage and slab bacon. Letting the beans rest overnight develops their flavors.
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.