One of my favorite dishes from Provence is petits farcis — small pieces of zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes stuffed with tiny herb-flavored meatballs. Sweet red peppers are often included, but it’s more difficult to get the shape right. When midsummer rolls around and veggies are at their prime, it’s the perfect time for this succulent dish — which may be served as a starter or a main course, accompanied by a chilled dry rosé.
Petits farcis / Stuffed vegetables from Provence
One of those ‘as many variations as there are cooks in France’ dishes, petits farcis may be prepared with ground pork, ground beef, ground lamb, sausage meat or a combination. The vegetables sometimes include artichokes, onions, cabbage and even zucchini flowers. It’s up to you and your imagination. Occasionally referred to as petits farcis niçois, the dish was most typically found in the Nice region along France’s eastern Mediterranean coast in years gone by, but has now migrated northwards and makes regular appearances on the menus of Parisian bistros. But it’s so much fun to make that I prefer to do it at home. Happy cooking!