montpellier & pasta salad

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When we started our trip to Southern France, end of 2022, we made a stop-over in Montpellier. If you like details: we arrived in the afternoon of 30th of December, stayed in Montpellier for New Year’s Eve and restarted to Carcassone on 1st of January.

I remember that it was rather cold and rainy … except of New Year’s Day when suddenly the sun appeared on a blue sky. We then enjoyed a lazy coffee on Place de la Comédie – outdoor. (The day before we walked the city centre, but it was more off-putting because of the weather … and crowds bustling through the streets, the alleyways … all busy with preparation for end of year – or whatever.)

So I never made a post about our stop-over.

Since May we stayed in Sérignan – and so we decided to do another trip to Montpellier. We took the train from Béziers in the morning and returned late in the afternoon (rather late due to a train traffic jam!).

However, at first some notes about food …

We are pasta lovers.
When it’s fine weather w/ temperatures rising we are – especially – pasta salad lovers.

So when we planned our trip to Montpellier we decided to have some pasta salad for dinner after having returned home. It’s a quick & easy affair: you may prepare the essentials day before and just toss together everything. The dinner accompanied by a glass of red wine will be a treat like comfort food always is known for – especially after a day of sightseeing.

So – what do we need … & need to prepare … for a simple pasta salad (for 2 people) …

The pasta salad:

  • 125 g pasta (like Girandole or any comparable pasta of this style) – cooked as recommended on the package.
  • Drain & set aside.
  • 1/2 red pepper – cleaned & chopped.
  • 1 small courgette – cleaned & chopped.
  • Put the vegetable mess in a pan & add some olive oil & 1/2 tsp dried herbs of Provence.
  • Fry for some minutes at high heat!
  • Mix cooked pasta & vegetables.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp olive oil & 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar.
  • Add some salt & pepper to taste.
  • Mix well & let it chill!
  • 5-6 cherry tomatoes – halved.
  • 5-6 green olives marinated in mustard – halved.
  • About 5 cm cucumber – chopped.
  • 100 g mortadella – chopped.
  • Mix well & add to the pasta-vegetable mess just before serving.

For the dressing:

  • 150 g Greek yoghurt
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sweet French mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste.
  • Mix thoroughly for a smooth dressing.
  • Combine the mess w/ the dressing.
  • Serve at once.

I prepared the pasta & the vegetables day before & stored the mess in the fridge. The tomatoes etc. I cut just before serving – mainly because of the fresh cucumber which may result in a lot of liquid when chilling …

Green olives marinated in mustard:
I found these special olives on the market in Sérignan. The olives are pitted & rest in hot mustard like Dijon mustard. They are fine at happy hour … whenever.

In short:
I worked w/ the supplies of my fridge & my pantry. So feel free to substitute …

Now back to Montpellier …

We made our way from Place de la Comédie (see on top!) to L’Arc de Triomphe and further on to La Cathédrale Saint-Pierre.

The cathedral is an impressive and somewhat extraordinary structure going back to the 14th century in its origin.

We walked the boulevards w/ their classic buildings beautifully decorated … suddenly you approach old town quarters w/ deep alleyways …

There is a maze of narrow, dark alleyways – too narrow for any cars, but not for scooters or e-scooters. You may get lost … It’s an adventure to stroll and find small interesting items like old chapels or fashion shops.

Finally you’ll end up at a square w/ cafés … (in front of a church like this!).

Good bye to Montpellier for now!