Stuffed sardine fillets à la Nicoise

 

Stuffed sardine fillets à la Nicoise


This recipe is inspired by a lunch that we recently had in St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. The sardine fillets were stuffed with a typical Niçoise vegetable mix: mangold or spinach, shallots, garlic, black olives, tomatoes, and basil. All vegetables were chopped into small pieces and sautéed in olive oil before stuffing. The sardine fillets were then roasted in the oven.

They were served with panisses, chickpea flour cakes, and some extra vegetable mix as a side.

The dish was so tasty and healthy that I decided to try it at home. The following recipe is my twist of that terrace lunch.

2 servings

6- 8 sardine fillets

1 tbsp. dried bread crumbs

Olive oil

2 handfuls of baby spinach, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large or 2 small tomatoes, chopped

8 black olives, pitted and chopped

About 8 basil leaves, chopped

2 large store- bought panisses

2 tbsp. almond flakes


Wash the spinach and tomato and chop them into small pieces. Peel and chop the shallot and clove of garlic. Warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat and sauté the vegetables about 5- 10 minutes turning occasionally. Add the chopped olives. 


Preheat the oven to 210° C roast. Place the panisses in a large oven- proof dish and sprinkle with the almond flakes and some olive oil. Start roasting the chick-pea cakes; they need about 5-10 minutes longer than the sardine fillets.


Clean and dry the sardine fillets. Fill them wit the vegetable mixture and place them in the same oven- proof dish with the panisses. Sprinkle the sardine fillets with the breadcrumbs and some olive oil, place the dish back to the oven and roast for about 10- 12 minutes. Cover the remaining vegetable mixture and keep warm.


When the sardines are cooked and the almond flakes on the panisses are golden, remove the dish from the oven and divide on the plates. Divide the extra vegetable mixture on the plates and decorate with basil.


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Short loop from Gréolières

Gréolières and higher village ruins



 

Gréolières (elev. ≈840 m) offers several great hiking routes, both long and short. The southern flank of the Cheiron Massif, above the Loup River Valley is mostly steep and rocky brushland but the mid-section of the mountain face comprises flatter terrain which has been used as pasture.


GR4 above Gréolières
GR4 above Gréolières
Heading east from signpost#193
Heading east from signpost#193
Cheiron Massif
Cheiron Massif
Cheiron Massif southern flank
Cheiron Massif southern flank




From Gréolières, we ascended along the GR4 trail (starting from signpost #30), passing ruins of the ancient High Gréolières village, including its castle. We reached a crossroads at signpost #193 (Les Miroirs, St. Pons etc) where we forked right (east), leaving the GR4 trail. We continued along the yellow-marked PR trail in somewhat undulating open terrain (the highest point en route was about 1170 m). 



Autumn colours and Cheiron Massif
Autumn colours under Cheiron Massif
Loup River Valley
Loup River Valley
Return trail to Gréolières
Return trail to Gréolières
Gréolières and upper Loup Valley
Gréolières and upper Loup Valley



We reached signpost #192 where we forked right as planned. The trail back was narrower and steeper in the beginning, then levelled off and merged with a dirt track.


It turned out to be an agreeable loop with great views all the way. In Gréolières, you don’t have to climb far and high to experience the beauty of the Côte d’Azur Prealps!


Distance: About 6 km


Climb: 360 m


Duration: about 2h 30 active


Map: Vallée de l’Estéron  Vallée du Loup 3642 ET



Loop above Gréolières



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Carrot purée and pork

 

Carrot purée and pork


For this dish, choose organic carrots that do not need to be peeled. This is a great spring recipe when new carrots arrive and oranges are still in season.

2 servings

6- 8 organic carrots

2 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Olive oil

½ onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 orange

About 250 g pork fillet, chopped into chunks

100 ml white wine

1/3 chicken stock cube, crumbled

2 tbsp. crème fraîche 15% fat or cream

Freshly ground black pepper

Chopped parsley


Wash the carrots, cut into large chunks and cook in boiling water 15 minutes. Drain the water, add the orange juice and ginger, cover and cook about 20 minutes until the carrots are soft. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. crème fraîche, and some black pepper. Mix and press into a purée.


Meanwhile warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Sauté the pork chunks until golden on all sides. Add the onion and garlic and continue sautéing for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the crumbled chicken stock and pour in the wine. Grind over some black pepper, mix well and let simmer until the pork is cooked.


Divide the carrot purée into bowls and place the pork on top.  Decorate with chopped parsley.


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