SAINT PAUL DE VENCE: Today I will go for lunch to the restaurant Colombe d’Or in Saint Paul de Vence. This place is unique and got famous a long time ago when Picasso and Braque came here for lunch and dinner every day. Sometimes they paid with pieces of their art, which are now still all around the restaurant and hotel, giving it a feel of visiting a private home of a great collector. Actually it is one of my favourite lunch places in the world, because it concludes everything a restaurant should have: great food, an interesting mix of guests and beautiful surroundings, which have not changed for years.
I love the way they do, for example, the hors d’oeuvre or the salade nicoise, which is famous for the region and today it also makes me think about the perfect salad. For me, salad is the best dish you can have for lunch in summer. It is light, fresh and, when done right, perfectly tasty. Which leads me to mention that the ingredients are worth spending time and money on. Buy the best lettuce directly from the farmers market or when you are in Saint Paul from the little vegetable stand on your right hand from the Colombe d’Or. Make the taste of flavours unique and add some sweetness to your salad, with a hint of maple syrup or some ripe muscat grapes. A pinch of Himalayan salt and a few flakes of hot peppers round up a perfect taste. You can add some seeds or nuts to get even more nutritious value.
IRMA’S TIP: Add all the vegetables, fruits and nuts you have at home to your lettuce. I started mixing summer fruits to lettuce with some mint which is very refreshing and tasteful. All you need is some good olive oil, some fresh lemon and freshly ground pepper. To make the taste of different ingredients even stronger put some oil in a pan for example with lemon or orange peel and heat slowly like this you get an even stronger infused flavour.