Nice may conjure up the very essence of sophisticated chic – The Promenade des Anglais, the Hotel Negresco and the casinos – but its culinary traditions are all about simplicity, perhaps best expressed by an old Nicoise saying: ‘fish are born in water and die in oil’.
Niçoise cuisine is the food of the Mediterranean. It is not only a delight to the palate, but is known to have many health benefits. Its recipes are in tune with the natural cycle of the year using in-season fruits, herbs and vegetables, as well as plenty of fish. But the majority of the recipes are merely guides – unless you are baking – offering a relaxed flexibility with ingredients and seasonings suited to cooks of all levels of experience.
The Niçoise pantry is stocked with the best quality extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, fresh garlic and pots of aromatic herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and basil.
This, Jacques Médecin’s legendary book, first published in 1972 and now reissued for the first time in hardback offers an infectiously enthusiastic guide to the cookery of his city.
As well as explaining how to make genuine salade niçoise (that most betrayed of Niçois dishes) he lures the reader into the wonderful enticing world of tians, panisses, socca, and ganses. While not everyone will be able to dine alfresco under an olive tree, the way they do in Nice, this classic cookbook will at least allow you to recreate the city’s best-loved dishes.