If you’re in France on Bastille Day, you’ll want to be out in the world celebrating. But if you’re anywhere else, why not bring a taste of France home—and raise a glass to Modern France, which truly began on July 14th, 1789.
Here’s a super-simple menu that’s great for four people, but easily doubled or tripled for more guests:
• Tapenade on Crackers with Crémant d’Alsace
• Roasted Salmon on French Tabbouleh (see recipe)
• A Cheese Course (see my article on how to serve a cheese course)
• Crêpes, of course (make them in advance, if you wish. I’ll show you how).
Recipe: French Tabbouleh
To make this into a main dish (as pictured): • Grill or roast some salmon (or any fish that looks its freshest best at the market). You can also use shrimp. • Toss some spinach and/or arugula with your favorite vinaigrette and scatter on a large patter. • Top the spinach with the couscous salad. • Top the couscous salad with the salmon, and drizzle some high-quality olive oil atop all; finish with some pepper and fleur de sel.
Makes 4 servings.
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup water
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup plain quick-cooking couscous
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sliced Kalamata or Niçoise olives
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/2 cup snipped fresh mint, parsley, or a combination
1/4 cup roasted red pepper, cut into strips.
Fleur de sel (to finish) (optional)
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken broth, water, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a serving bowl, stir together the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon juice, and salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the olives, green onions, parsley, and red pepper strips to the couscous; stir gently to combine. Add the couscous mixture to the dressing in the serving bowl; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate for 2 to 24 hours. Stir well before serving.
What to drink: Try a rosé Crémant d’Alsace. These are made from the same grape (Pinot Noir) and using same intricate, time-intensive methods used to make great French Champagnes. Look for one of my favorites, Lucien Albrecht Brut Rosé Crémant d’Alsace (around $20).
PS: I’m pleased to announce that my new e-book, The French Pasta Cookbook, will be published this September. To keep track of its progress, follow me on Facebook: Chez Bonne Femme, or check out my blog at http://chezbonnefemme.com. And be sure to check out my book, The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day. A bientôt!
• Book jacket photo by Richard Swearinger.
• Tapenade photo by Sarmale / OAyuso via flickr.
I want to thank everyone so much for the great feedback and comments about my Louvre-Rivoli Metro photos. I am now offering the photos to purchase for $75 per print plus shipping. Prints will measure 11" by 14" with a 1" white border and will be printed on Fuji crystal Archive metallic paper with a rich satin gloss finish. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to order some.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 210 euros for up to 3 people, and 70 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com
Click here to watch a video of our famous Marais tour