Step by step instructions to make my favorite French Riviera dish – Les Petits Farcis Niçois, just like my French Mamie. This comforting dish is rich and hearty with fresh summer vegetables stuffed with fragrant sausage – a delicious showstopper! Perfect to serve for a French dinner party.
- Olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh chopped finely)
- 1/2 tsp of dried thyme (or 1 tbsp fresh chopped finely)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves
- 3 large tomatoes
- 3 bell peppers (green, red or yellow – your preference!)
- 4 zucchinis
- 2 large white onions
- 1/2 pound of ground pork sausage
- 1/2 pound of ground beef
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 bouquet of parsley
- 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
Rinse the tomatoes with cold water. Dry them and cut off the top 1/4 of the way down. With a spoon, scoop out the insides and put the insides to the side in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle a pinch of salt inside.
On medium high heat, drizzle some olive oil in the pan and lightly sear the tomatoes for 3-4 minutes, turning sides once they begin to blister.
Place the tomatoes in a baking dish set aside with a sprinkle of olive oil
Rinse and dry the zucchinis. Cut the top 1/4 off of the zucchini length wise. Sear the zucchinis on both sides in the frying pan like with the tomatoes. Scoop out the insides with a spoon to create a little boat. Add the zucchini insides to the bowl set aside with the tomato insides. Place in a separate baking dish with a sprinkle of salt.
Rinse and dry the peppers. Cut the top 1/4 off of the peppers length wise. Scoop out the insides with a spoon to create a little boat leaving the stem for visual effect. Add the tops of the peppers to the bowl set aside with the tomato tops and zucchini. Sear the peppers on both sides in the frying pan like with the tomatoes. Place in the baking dish with a sprinkle of salt next to the tomatoes
Peel the onions and place them in a sauce pan of boiling water with the bay leaves for about 15 minutes until they become tender. Slice in two lengthwise from the top to the bottom. Take out the center part of the onion and place with the other vegetable pieces in the side bowl.
**Note: You can also use potatoes and eggplants for this dish**
Stuffing Les Petits Farcis Niçois:
In the second mixing bowl, add together the ground pork sausage and the ground beef.
Rinse and dry the parsley bouquet. Finely chop the leaves and the stems together and add to the meat mixture.
Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely chop the set aside vegetable insides and add together with garlic to the meat mixture.
Add salt, pepper and nutmeg along with half of the bread crumbs to the meat mixture and mix well together. Here I like to roll up my sleeves and dig in there with my hands!
Take a soup spoon and generously fill each seared vegetable with the meat mixture. The mixture should be heaped over each vegetable. Sprinkle the remaining bread crumbs on the top of the stuffed vegetables.
Baking Les Petits Farcis Niçois
Place the baking dish with the onions and the zucchinis in the oven first (they take longer to cook). Bake for 20 minutes then add the second baking dish with the tomatoes and peppers. Bake both dishes together uncovered for 45 minutes.
The vegetables should be soft yet hold their shape. Let cool slightly and then serve with a side salad for a delicious summer meal accompanied by a chilled glass of Rosé, of course. If serving for dinner I recommend serving with rice. Gently toss the cooked rice with the Petit Farcis pan drippings after baking the stuffed vegetables for a rich flavored rice that will have your dinner guests asking for more!
Le Chef’s Wife Tip: use downtime while the Petits Farcis are in the oven to clean the kitchen and start the dishwasher! Nothing like having a clean kitchen when you pull your dinner out of the oven.)
If serving for lunch: pair with a side salad for a delicious summer meal accompanied by a chilled glass of Rosé,
If serving for dinner I recommend serving with rice. Gently toss the cooked rice with the Petit Farcis pan drippings after baking the stuffed vegetables for a rich flavored rice that will have your dinner guests asking for more!