Hummus and scallops on a vegetable bed

 

Hummus and scallops on a vegetable bed


This recipe is a perfect example of combining vegetable and animal protein. It also shows how we should increase colourful vegetables and reduce carbohydrates from pasta, rice or bread in the modern Mediterranean diet that is now scientifically shown to be one of the best options for a healthy diet. 

In France, the scallop season runs from 1 October to 15 May. In summer, mussels could replace the scallops in this recipe.

2 servings

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato

A handful or two of baby spinach

About 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 tbsp. black olives

About 4 tbsp. hummus

8- 10 scallops

2 tbsp. hazelnut powder

Olive oil


Warm 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium- low heat and gently sauté the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes.

Peel and chop the sweet potato. Microwave for about 5- 6 minutes until soft, then add to the skillet.

Preheat the oven to 200° C. 

Oil a smallish ovenproof dish and place the scallops in it. Sprinkle with hazelnut powder and some olive oil. Roast for 4- 5 minutes depending on the size. It is nice to leave them a bit mi- cuit, half- cooked, inside.

When the scallops go into the oven add the spinach, cherry tomatoes, and olives to the skillet. Increase the heat to medium. The spinach takes only a few minutes to be wilted.

Place a heap of hummus in the centre of large plates and surround with the vegetables. Divide the scallops on the vegetables and serve.


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Montauroux: Loop hike near Lac St-Cassien

 

St-Cassien Lake seen from G49 trail


The Saint-Cassien Lake (147 m elev.) is an artificial water reservoir in the southeastern Var Department, inaugurated in 1966. The terrain west of the lake has a network of trails, offering several hiking itineraries, many of them not officially marked as hiking routes.

The GR 49 long distance trail runs along the forested western shore of the lake. Several tracks and trails connect the GR trail with the yellow marked PR trail which runs on the adjacent hills. We wanted to explore the area and tailor-make a nice loop.

We drove to the parking at the Fondurane Biologic Reserve. It took us less than an hour from Nice. 

GR49 bridge over River Biançon
GR49 bridge over River Biançon
GR49 from Fondurane
GR49 from Fondurane

GR49 near Gayet
GR49 near Gayet

Heading south along the GR49, we crossed the bridge over the River Biançon. We followed the white/red GR markings. There were sporadic old signposts, but it was easy to follow the GR trail which in fact was a good dirt track, also used by cyclists. We crossed a stream, turned 180° and continued to a crossroads named Gayet on our map. Here, the GR49 forked left and we came nearer the lake. Climbing a bit, some stretches offered good views of the lake and the vicinity.

Glimpse of St-Cassien Lake from GR49
Glimpse of St-Cassien Lake from GR49


Pré Claou Bridge over St-Cassien Lake
Pré Claou Bridge over St-Cassien Lake

Track leaving GR49 above St-Cassien Lake
Track leaving GR49 above St-Cassien Lake

Same track higher up
Same track higher up

Esterel and the Med seen from trail
Esterel and the Med seen from trail

We continued along the GR49 5.9 km to a point (43.561798N 6.790824E) where we had found a good path to reach the hill. There were a few before this, but they looked both narrower and overgrown.  Leaving the GR49, we forked right and climbed, partly in Forêt Domaniale de St-Cassien to a PR hiking trail which was a wide dirt track as well. We turned right, started to follow it and climbed a bit more to about 340 m where we passed a water reservoir.
We now headed north, and descended rapidly to Gayet, where we re-joined the GR49 and walked back to our starting point.

Distance : 13 km 

Duration : 3h 20 (active)

Climb : 260 m

Map : 3543 ET Haute Siagne

St-Cassien loop hike track
St-Cassien loop hike track







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Trout with kiwifruit chimichurri

 

Trout with kiwifruit chimichurri



Kiwifruit is particularly rich in vitamin C and vitamin K and contains moderate amounts of vitamin E and carotenoids. French kiwifruits are in season from November to May. France is now the third European producer after Italy and Greece. Nowadays we can also choose organic kiwifruits.

Chimichurri is a green sauce of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and red wine vinegar. No Argentinian could think of eating steak without chimichurri!

I have seen some kiwifruit chimichurri recipes to go with meat, but I think that this sauce goes really well with roasted salmon or trout. I have changed the parsley and oregano with dill and basil which seem to better compliment fish. 

2 servings

For the kiwifruit chimichurri:

2 kiwifruits, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp. red wine vinegar

½ clove garlic, minced

Freshly ground black pepper

A generous amount of finely chopped dill and basil


For the rest:

2 trout fillets, about 200 g each, with skin

About 10- 12 cherry tomatoes

Olive oil 

About 100ml green lentils 


Make the kiwifruit chimichurri by mixing all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until needed.


Cook the lentils for about 20- 25 minutes until soft but not falling apart. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. When they are soft, cover and keep warm.


Preheat the oven to 200°C roast.


Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes. Place them in an oven- proof dish with a splash of olive oil and roast for about 15 minutes.


Oil an oven- tray with olive oil and place the trout fillets in it. Roast for 8- 10 minutes depending on the thickness.


Divide the trout on the plates and top with kiwifruit chimichurri. Place the lentils and cherry tomatoes on the side.


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Balconies of La Turbie

La Turbie



The following short hike above La Turbie along the GR51/51B trail offers good views from several points down to Monaco, Cap Martin and La Turbie itself. In some guides, it is rightly called les Balcons de la Turbie. A part of the trail runs inside the nature protection area called Natura 2000 (A network of protection areas of the EU).






In La Turbie, we crossed the main D2564 road to signpost #620, passed an old washing place and the Gendarmerie.  We climbed along the GR51B first heading northwest then northeast and reached Mont de la Bataille (620m). The view down to the coast was great. There was nothing visible left of any bunkers etc reminding of any military history.


From Mont de la Bataille we descended in a forest to Col de Guerre (557 m; signpost #548) where we carefully crossed the D153 road. From the Col, we ascended along the GR trail, marked also as GR653A on the map. There were several viewing points by the trail, but most of the trail ran in a nice forest.


We reached signpost #547 by the D153 road. The hiking trail continued along it. There was more traffic than we had anticipated, and we did not feel comfortable walking along it any further. It marked our turning point today and we returned along the same trail.


Distance: 5,4 km


Duration: 2h 30


Climb: 360 m


Map: 3742 OT Nice Menton Côte d’Azur




La Turbie balconies walk track







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