Baked white fish in tomato sauce and capers

 

Baked white fish in tomato sauce and capers

Many kinds of white fish work in this recipe, cod, sea bass, red fish, or monkfish. The Italian tomato sauce, white wine, capers, shallot, garlic, and dried herbs give a rich Mediterranean taste to fish.

2 servings

2 nice pieces of boneless white fish

Olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

50 ml white wine

1 tsp. dried Provençal herbs

400 ml Italian tomato sauce

2 tsp. capers

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp. dried bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 200°C.


Warm 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan and gently sauté the shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and dried herbs and continue cooking until the wine is somewhat reduced. Pour in the tomato sauce and add the capers and black pepper. Mix and let cook for a few minutes.


Spread some olive oil in an oven- proof dish large enough to hold the fish in one layer. Place the fish in it and pour the tomato sauce around the fish, partly covering it. Sprinkle the bread crumbs on top and drizzle with some olive oil.


Bake for 20 minutes until the fish is cooked and the top is nicely browned. Serve with new potatoes, wilted spinach and lemon wedges.


Baked white fish


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Caussols: La Colle de Rougiès

 

La Colle de Rougiès



The commune of Caussols (Village at 1130 m elev.) located in Grasse hinterland, northwest of Gourdon offers several interesting hiking opportunities. Paved roads reach over 1000 m elevation which makes the region popular as many of the summits and ridges can be reached with a relatively moderate effort. 

We have previously hiked to Haut Montet (1335 m; Civil Aviation Radar) which is actually located in the neighbouring commune of Gourdon.

This time we wanted to explore the ridge north of Plateau de Caussols, comprising La Colle de Rougiès (1334 m). Instead of parking by the D12 road, we drove up to Les Claps Parking where the trail to Haut Montet starts.






We walked back 200 m to signpost #43 and headed north along a wide trail, an ancient Roman Road. Several avens, sinkholes, were marked in the map next to the trail. We did not explore them as they were mostly covered with vegetation.


After about 600 m, we forked right (northeast) along another wide trail and soon came to the D12 road and Col de l’Ecre (1120 m). We followed the road north about 300 m to signpost #45. We forked right (east) to a marked trail and soon started to climb, eventually in a steep but short slope to signpost #46 which marked the eastern point of the ridge. Staying on the ridge, we headed west towards La Colle de Rougiès, climbing slowly mostly in open terrain, sometimes in a beautiful pine wood. The trail was soft and good.


La Colle de Rougiès summit was marked with a large cairn. In the west, we saw the Côte d’Azur Observatory on Plateau de Calern and Montagne de Thiey (1553 m) further away above the Plateau of Caussols. A wide trail continued to the observatory and beyond.


Our trail followed the edge of the ridge a few hundred meters to signpost #47. We then descended steeply, the trail was rocky and later somewhat overgrown. There were parallel markings (yellow) and cairns here and there. We came to a paved road which led us to the D12 road. We crossed it, and started to ascend along the pebbled Roman Road, Voie Romaine, which we followed back to our starting point.     

            

Distance: 8,5 km   


Climb: 360 m


Duration: 2h 50


Map: Cannes Grasse Côte d’Azur 3643 ET


Colle de Rougiès hike track





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Ravioli gratin with tomatoes, aubergines, and chevre

Ravioli gratin with tomatoes, aubergines and chèvre


Traditional ravioli in Nice is filled with ricotta and basil or ricotta and spinach. Aubergine slices fried in a generous amount of olive oil are typical in Mediterranean recipes. If you want to reduce the amount of oil in your recipes, you can brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and roast them in oven.

Goat cheese, chèvre, gives the South of France flavour to this gratin. Instead of goat cheese you could use mozzarella which in fact melts easier.

2 servings

3 tomatoes

6 aubergine slices

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. Provençal herbs

About 180 g full-fat goat cheese, chèvre

Olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

Fresh basil to decorate 

Ravioli for 2 servings


Wash the aubergine and cut 6 slices about 0,5- 1 cm thick. In a large skillet, warm a generous amount of olive oil over medium heat and fry the aubergine slices until soft.


In another frying pan, warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté the shallot and garlic for about 5 minutes. Wash and chop the tomatoes and add to the pan. Add the Provençal herbs and black pepper and continue cooking.


In a large casserole, bring water to a boil. Add the ravioli to the boiling water and cook for 4- 5 minutes. Then dry them on a clean kitchen towel.


Slice the goat cheese and oil an oven- proof dish. 


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Mont Ours from Ste-Agnès


Mont Ours

 Mont Ours (1236 m) above Ste-Agnès (main village at about 650 m elev.) has, as many other coastal summits, had historically a strategic importance. 

A small fortress was erected on the mountain top already in the late 19th century. When the Maginot line was built in the 1930s, several fortifications were built in the area en masse, such as the one above Col des Banquettes on the southern flank of Mont Ours.

The battle of Mont Ours took place on 12/13 September 1944, one month after the Allied landing. A commemorative plaque honouring the First Special Service Force (American and Canadian), and local resistance fighters was unveiled on the fortress wall in 2014.

Today there’s a forest fire observation post as well as several telecom masts on the summit.

Hiking trails above Ste-Agnès are numerous. You can design your own itinerary as you wish.

We have previously hiked to Mont Ours from Col de Castillon situated northeast of the mountain. We now wanted to explore the route from the south.






From Ste-Agnès village entrance parking (about 600 elev.), we headed northwest along a yellow-marked path, ascending to Pas de la Piastre (935 m elev.). Signpost #475 had disappeared but at the crossroads we took the right-hand path to Col des Banquettes (736m). The left-hand path went up to Cime de Baudon. The path descended in a pleasant forest.  

At the Col, we crossed the paved M22 road. One of the signposts #470 had disappeared (the other one was intact 70 m south).  We started to climb along the main marked path, passing some bunkers. The gradient increased and the terrain became rockier. We were guided by cairns, fading yellow markings and the digital map.

We passed signpost#472 where a wider trail went to Col de Verroux. We continued straight north to the summit. The main gate was locked but a gap was made for pedestrians. With all the installations, it was not your pristine mountain top to be honest. We were reminded of the WWII battle. The day was warm but hazy (desert dust), limiting otherwise great views.

We decided to return to Col des Blanquettes along the same trail instead of doing a loop via Col de Verroux. The 18.00 curfew had been implemented in France because of the pandemic. From the Col, we took the shortest way back to our starting point along the M22 road (very little traffic).

Hiking to Mont Ours from Col de Castillon is easier. Many hikers seem to drive up to Col des Blanquettes, starting their walks from there.

Climb: 830 m

Distance: 10 km

Duration: 4h 30 active hiking time

Map: Nice Menton Côte d’Azur 3742 OT

Mont Ours hike track















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