I got a good wry smile out of this line from SBNation.com regarding today’s stage 6 of the Tour de France from Aix-en-Provence to Montpellier: “A relatively short 176.5 km trek across flat land should see this year’s sprinters shine once again”.
A relatively short 176.5 km (110 miles) – ripping the pedals at over 30 mph average? Ow!
But, wow, after the first three days of racing on the gorgeous French island of Corsica, the racers are now riding through southeastern France, or the Provence region, known for spectacular scenery and rich, earthy flavorful food. Great combination! (If you’re interested in actually going there – I sure am – here’s a link to very reasonable and personalized help: http://www.francemadeeasy.com)
As for a taste of the Provence, here’s a very easy to make Provencal Vegetable Tian. As I mention in the step-by-step picture book recipe you can get by clicking either the top or bottom picture on this page, “tian” is a French word derived from the Greek term for “frying pan” and has two meanings. A tian is both a shallow earthenware cooking pot and a fantastically flavorful dish made of layered, thinly sliced vegetables baked with herbs, oil and garlic in that same pot and known particularly to the Provence, or southeastern region of France.