FLEUR DE PROVENCE (Provençal Vegetables)

by Chef James Laird

Serves 4 as appetizer

July 06, 2017


Preheat the oven to 275°F.

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4-inch-thick disks. Slice the zucchini and eggplant into slightly thinner disks. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Lay the vegetable slices in 4 rows down the length of the sheet pan—overlapping and alternating the vegetables in each row (zucchini, eggplant, tomato, zucchini, eggplant, tomato, etc.).

Brush each row with the olive oil. Drizzle each row with tapenade. Sprinkle with thyme and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper.

Bake the vegetables for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until soft and leathery. Be careful not to let them get crisp. Remove the sheet pan from the oven and allow it to cool.

Roll up a row of baked vegetables and turn it on its end. Lightly squeeze the base together and spread the top like a flower. Repeat with the remaining rows.

Serve the flowers on a bed of arugula.

1/2 pound Niçoise black olives, pitted
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil

In a blender or food processor, process the black olives, garlic and parsley. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to make a paste that is thin enough to drizzle


  • 3 medium tomatoes (not peeled)
  • 2 small zucchini (not peeled)
  • 1 medium eggplant (not peeled)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • tapenade (see below)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Arugula
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