My return home from Provence has gone nothing like I imagined it would. The day my travel companions (sister Susan and friend Renate) were suppose to fly back to their homes, we had storms with straight line winds. Branches and trees came down on our street. Flights at the airport were cancelled. And the seemingly constant June rains continued with record-setting amounts. With my husband in Iowa, visiting his father who had recently fallen and broken his hip, I fought a losing battle with rainwater seeping into the lower level of our house. It's a huge mess, but many others suffered much worse from the nearly state-wide flooding. I shouldn't complain.
We had been planning a dinner for the summer solstice for many weeks and for a while it seemed like those plans would be derailed. But with one perfectly beautiful, rain-free day for our dinner forecast, and nothing we could do in our basement until it dries out, we decided to continue with the dinner as planned.
+ Le Parisien Aperitif (recipe HERE)
+ Peppers Provençal (The Silver Palate Cookbook)
+ Tuscan Melon with Limoncello
+ Cream of Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Croutons and Black Truffle Oil
+ Salade Niçoise
+ Clafoutis Cerise
.... All served with Provençal Rosé
Both the melon and cauliflower soup were foods I ate while in Provence. In upcoming posts I'll tell you more about some of those amazing meals I had. The Melon with Limoncello was one of the highlights. We spent a day with Corey Amaro, of the blog Tongue in Cheek. It was a surreal meeting for me. I have followed Corey, through her blog, for about 6 years now; getting to know her family, reading about her love of the brocantes (antique markets), and falling in love with her kitchen through her photos... and there I was, having lunch with Corey in her Provençal home. That day immediately became our favorite of the 10 days we spent in France. It was very special and we will never forget it.
The first course at Corey's luncheon in Provence was a halved Cavaillon Melon drizzled with Italian Limoncello. Oh my gosh!... Really... you must try this! Corey said that this was the first melon of the season and with the first melon, you make a wish. My wish was to have another half of a Cavaillon Melon filled with Limoncello.
Since I have never seen a Cavaillon Melon in any of the grocery stores I frequent in St. Paul, I was thrilled to find the small Tuscan Melons (at Trader Joe's of all places). I wasn't sure how this would compare to the sweet Cavaillon variety, but the ripe, room temperature Tuscan Melon with icy Limoncello (store bottles of Limoncello in the freezer) was an excellent substitute. And you can't beat the simplicity... Halve melons, clean out seeds, drizzle with icy Limoncello, and garnish with fresh mint and a lavender sprig. Voilà!
Below... images of Corey Amaro's kitchen and a serving of Corey's Cavaillon Melon with Limoncello.
TAKE a LOOK: