Cooking time: 5-10 minutes
Our region is famous for its produce: we love to work with green asparagus from Mauguio, raw or cooked purple artichokes, eggplant, tender zucchini and their golden flowers, fragrant red tomatoes, thin young leeks…
Since ancient times, the Camargue has been a favourite site for producing sea salt. Today, on the salt marshes of Aigues-Mortes, the salt makers of Les Salins du Midi still carry on the tradition, in particular collecting the finest Camargue salt, called “fleur de sel,” which is invaluable for enhancing the flavour of our dishes. Its tiny crunchy crystals appear in summer on the surface of the water. Simply dried in the sun, they come directly from the salt tables to our kitchen. In this recipe we use the “fleur de sel” to enhance the flavours of these vegetables of the day.
- Wash and clean all the vegetables (choose very fresh young vegetables: the amounts will be determined by the number of guests)
- Cook the vegetables that require cooking in rapidly boiling salted water (they should remain crisp).
- Refresh immediately in ice water.
- The raw vegetables can be either finely chopped (artichokes, carrots, turnips), left whole (peas), sliced (melon, tomatoes), or lightly sautéed (chanterelles, ceps).
Assembling the Salad
- Make up mixed bouquets of thin-stemmed aromatic herbs, one bouquet for each guest. Tie with chives and coat with olive oil.
- Lightly dress each plate with basil vinaigrette.
- Sprinkle a little Camargue “fleur de sel” and ground Szechuan pepper over the salads and decorate with a bouquet of herbs.
Dip all the vegetables lightly into the basil vinaigrette, and then arrange them on plates, playing with the different colours and shapes - try to give volume to the arrangement.
An original recipe from Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, of le Jardin des Sens in Montpellier
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