Cooking

Marseille It Ain't So

Plan a lovely late-summer Provençal feast

Sad as it makes us, rosé season is slowly winding down.

But we're going to savor every last drop and every sunset that matches the pale pink color of the wine in our glass. And every opportunity to have our friends over for one last outdoor feast that takes its cues from the very place where our favorite rosés come from: Provence.

We're going to gather our friends around the biggest table we can find—even if it's not a rustic farm table surrounded by fields of aromatic, gently swaying lavender.

We're going to keep things easy, filling glasses with cold Pastis and a little water to mellow it out. We'll sit around dipping haricots verts and peppery breakfast radishes and big hunks of torn baguette into a pot of oily, anchovy-laced anchoïade (see the recipe)—a salty, briny dip that's sort of a French cousin, twice removed, to bagna cauda. We'll keep the booze out in an ice bucket in case our friends need a refill (they will).

We're going to skip the hours it takes to make bouillabaisse and make the silky fish stew bourride (see the recipe). We'll place a slice of toast in the bottom of each bowl before ladling in aioli-thickened broth, chunks of monkfish and fingerling potatoes. We'll sprinkle each dish with Espelette pepper and torn parsley leaves. We'll do like they do on the Mediterranean coast, setting out some extra aioli on the side.

And for dessert, we're going to skip the fuss of making a proper tart, using the last of summer's sweet raspberries and juicy figs in a gorgeous free-form galette (see the recipe) bound together with thick almond paste. Does a dollop of crème fraîche hurt? Mais non.

Of course, we'll have plenty of bottles of rosé on hand—hopefully enough to fool ourselves into thinking we're actually in the South of France.

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