Cod surrounded with roasted vegetables


Cod surrounded with roasted vegetables

This is a great recipe in autumn and winter when root vegetables are in season. Here in Nice, you can buy good cod year- round so in summer roasted tomatoes, bell peppers, and courgettes can replace root vegetables.

2 servings

2 pieces of cod fillet, dos de cabillaud

Olive oil

1 tsp. dried Provençal herbs

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp. bread crumbs

2 carrots, sliced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into smallish chunks

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into smallish chunks

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

A few broccoli florets, microwaved

Fresh herbs and lemon wedges

Preheat the oven to 200° C, roast.

Microwave the carrot slices for a few minutes because they take the longest to roast. Place 2 tbsp. olive oil in a plastic bag and add the vegetables except broccoli. Give the bag a good shake and pour the vegetables in a large oven-proof dish in single layer. Roast for 30 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile make a crumble by mixing the bread crumbs, dried herbs, some black pepper, and olive oil. Coat the cod pieces with this crumble and place in the middle of the roasting dish. Continue roasting for 10- 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of cod. Microwave the broccoli florets for a few minutes until soft.

Divide the cod and vegetables on the plates and decorate with chopped fresh herbs. Serve with lemon wedges.


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Collet St-André above Bonson


The village of Bonson is perched high above the Var River Valley, but even higher is the sharp mountain top of Collet St-André (757 m). In spite of much higher summits in the vicinity, it dominates the scenery when driving north from Nice.

A marked trail zigzags to the summit along the mountain’s somewhat less steep western flank. 

On a gorgeous winter day, we drove through the village of Gillette, and turned towards Revest-les-Roches along M227. After 2.8 km, we parked by the road near signpost #38 at a place named Collet des Sousses (elev. 626 m), our starting point (see map below).

We headed east, towards Baisse du Collet St-André along a forest trail. Unfortunately, the original trail had disappeared after a rock/mud slide, and we had to take a marked detour. This stretch was muddy and wet, but we reached the good main trail soon enough.

We came straight to Baisse du Collet St-André (signpost #28 at 606 m elev.), and started to climb, passing a rock-climbing site. The gradient increased and some scrambling was needed in the end. We were rewarded with excellent views, and a flock of griffon vultures happened to circle the mountain top.

We descended carefully and took the same trail back to our starting point. As expected, it was an off the beaten track itinerary. If you wish to avoid the short muddy part of the trail, it is best to drive to Bonson and simply climb up from there.

Distance: 5.2 km

Duration: 2h 20

Climb: 320 m

Map: 3642 ET Vallée de l’Estéron

Collet St-André hike track

Signposts#38 and 28


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Thon mi-cuit with capers and lemon sauce

Thon mi-cuit with capers and lemon sauce

Thon mi- cuit, half-cooked tuna, is an excellent way to prepare fresh tuna steaks. Tuna steaks are cooked in the same way as you would tender steaks; to medium rare perfection. The steaks are cooked on the outside but left pink, even red, on the inside.

The cooking time depends on the thickness of the steaks. The tuna steaks we normally get here in Nice are about 2 cm thick so about 1,5 minutes, or even a bit less, cooking on each side over medium heat is long enough. Watch the steaks while sautéing them so as not to overcook.

Reduced lemon- caper sauce goes well on top of the steaks. In the photo, the tuna steaks are served with lentils, roasted tomatoes, and wilted spinach but feel free to choose the vegetables as you wish.

2 servings

2 fresh tuna steaks

1 organic lemon, juice and zest

Olive oil

2 tsp. capers

1 clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

For the vegetables:

100 ml blond lentils or lentil mix


A bag of baby spinach leaves

1 tomato

About 2 tbsp. bread crumbs

Chopped fresh basil

Start by cooking the lentils which takes about 20 minutes.

In a steel frying pan, warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté the tuna steaks about 1,5 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add 1 tbsp. olive oil to the pan and sauté the garlic about 1- 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, capers, and black pepper. Turn the heat a bit higher and let reduce somewhat.

Meanwhile roast the tomato halves and wilt the spinach.

Divide the lentils, tuna steaks, tomato halves, and spinach on the plates. Pour the lemon- caper sauce over the tuna and decorate with chopped basil. 


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Le Boréon: Forest path above the Salèse Valley


Trail above the Vallon du Champet Boréon

The following loop hike is for forest lovers. Even though this itinerary mostly runs in the woods, there are several open stretches with great views down to Le Boréon (1500 m) as well as the Salèse  and Vésubie River Valleys. Le Boréon 6 km north of St-Martin Vésubie is one of the most popular hiking areas of Alpes-Maritimes.

A paved but potholed road M89 goes up to the Salèse Valley parking (1690 m), bordering the Mercantour National Park. The most popular trail, the GR52, continues from here to north west to Col de Salèse.

Note that after the devastating storm Alex in early October 2020, all access to Boréon was cut. Currently there’s a very limited access (not for the public) as far as to the Lake Boréon. It remains to be seen if the connection can be established before the next summer.

From the Salèse Parking, another trail goes up to Lac des Adus and beyond. We have previously hiked to Mont Archas in this area.

 The weather forecast for today’s hike was showers and thunderstorms in the afternoon (did not happen though!), and we wanted to avoid higher terrain. Besides, the forest above the Salèse Valley is most beautiful.

Signpost#397 and trail start

We crossed the stream along a wooden bridge to signpost #397 (Refuge et Lac des Adus etc). The climb in the forest was continuous. Just before the refuge, at signpost #396, we forked left(south) along a path that undulated in the verdant lower eastern flank of Mont Archas. Our trail connected with the trail descending from Mont Archas at signpost #393 (2242 m; the highest point of this hike). From this part of the trail, the views were excellent. 

Forest path above Salèse Valley

Steep trail to Lac des Adus

Path in les Petits Adus above Boréon

Path under Mont Archas

We descended rapidly, first along alpine meadows (above Serre Long), then again in the forest (Vallon du Champet) to signpost #391 where we forked left (north) to signpost #390. At signpost #398, we joined the GR52 and followed it back to our starting point, ascending about 110 m.

This itinerary was easy to follow. The paths were easy to see, markings were in yellow and the signposts clear.

View from trail over Salèse Valley

Mont Archas

Trail near Serre Long Boréon

Le Boréon

Vésubie Valley seen from Serre Long

Climb: 780 m 

Distance: 9 km

Duration: 4h 10 active hiking time

Map: Vallée de la Vésubie 3741 OT

Boréon forest loop track


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