Having worked for us in the capacity of campsite courier and maintenance assistant as well as enjoying a fair few camping holidays with Canvas, our good friend Karen Wright from 2018’s Great British Bake Off knows a thing or two about our destinations. She also knows a fair amount about serving up delicious dishes and yummy bakes, so has all the ingredients needed to rustle up a brilliant blog about her favourite dishes and the destinations they come from.
This area is another favourite of mine, I know, you have heard me say that about every area I have taken you to, the fact is I just love all of France. Languedoc – Roussillon is a massive long stretch of coastline all along the Mediterranean from Montpellier to Perpignan. The beaches are golden and sandy, the sea is calm and blue, it is a perfect seaside holiday area. There is also the backdrop of mountains, especially towards Perpignan where the Pyrenees stand in all their majesty.
The food in this area is very varied. Fish and sea food naturally feature everywhere. Along the coast towards Spain there are Catalan influences and the dishes are spicier than usual in France. The vegetables are all quite familiar to us these days, Aubergines, courgettes, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. These are so typical of all Mediterranean countries and regions; they just say sunshine!
Ratatouille is everywhere here. The supermarkets sell it in tins, and in my camping days we used these tins for speed after a busy day. So, what is Ratatouille? It is casserole or stew made using all those vegetables plus some garlic, salt and pepper and the odd tin of tomatoes and a scatter of herbs de Provence. You can just bubble everything up in a pan, but I like to roast the veg first, especially the Aubergine as that needs to be soft and squashy, not hard and rubbery. I like to serve this with couscous as, again, we are quite close to North Africa here and couscous is very popular.
- 1 aubergine cut into chunks
- 2 courgettes cut into chunks
- 1 red pepper sliced
- 3 tomatoes quartered
- 1 red onion peeled and quartered
- Garlic cloves
- Olive oil
- Tin of chopped tomatoes
- Splash of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Herbs de Provence
- Lemon juice
Place all the vegetables on an oven tray and drizzle with oil. Roast in a hot oven for about half and hour. Heat the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and herbs in a pan. When the veg are soft mix into the tomatoes, bubble up for a few minutes. Serve with couscous and drizzle some lemon juice over.