July 14th is Bastille Day, and if you haven't planned your French fête, it's never too late. We've done all the hard work for you, naturellement, and curated some of our all-time favorite French recipes. Bon appetit!
Camembert is notoriously stinky, but it's also famously delicious. Paired with loads of crusty bread, this lovely, gooey baked camembert will vanish the moment you cut into it.
INGREDIENTS: Camembert, garlic, rosemary, olive oil, bread, sea salt, cranberries, mixed nuts.
Healthy and fresh, with just the right sprinkle of indulgence (nice coarse sea salt), this common French snack is suitable for a lazy afternoon or a mad-rush moment when you need something quick and satisfying. Spread a little creamy butter on a chilled radish itself or cut the radish into slices, layer on baguette, and sprinkle with salt.
INGREDIENTS: Radish, unsalted butter, coarse sea salt, baguette (optional).
A staple of brasseries all over France, this healthy, protein-rich, traditional salad, which originated in Provence, is made with local Niçoise olives, oil-cured tuna, and anchovies.
INGREDIENTS: Garlic, kosher salt, olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, shallot, black pepper, new potatoes, yellow baby beets, red baby beets, haricot verts, cherry tomatoes, black Niçoise olives, radishes, anchovies, eggs, oil-packed tuna, cucumber, basil leaves, scallions.
Probably the most internationally recognizable mussels recipe, moules marinières is a popular French dish that uses white wine, shallots, parsley, and butter to cook the mussels. It's impeccably elegant, yet also quite simple.
INGREDIENTS: Mussels, onion, bay leaves, fresh thyme, unsalted butter, dry white wine, whipping cream, flat-leaf parsley.
This Alsatian dish, hailing from the eastern French region that borders Germany, is a thin-crust pizza made with crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions, and lardons. It can be eaten any time of day, and, trust us, you won't want to share.
INGREDIENTS: Water, dry yeast, unbleached flour, salt, onions, ricotta, crème fraîche, black pepper, bacon.
SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate.
A traditional Sunday lunchtime dish in France, roast chicken served with potatoes has many variations, but one of the best is made with a few sprigs of thyme and 40, yes 40, cloves of garlic--it's remarkably delicious!
INGREDIENTS: Garlic, chicken, butter, salt, pepper, thyme.
A dessert choux pastry ball filled with whipped cream, pastry cream, and custard, these indulgent cream puffs are staples of bakeries throughout France. They may be left undecorated, but they're often garnished with chocolate sauce, caramel, or a dusting of powdered sugar.
INGREDIENTS: Water, butter, salt, sugar, flour, eggs, whipped cream, chocolate sauce.
Crêpes are as French any dessert can be, and whether they're served with a variety of fillings or garnished only with sugar, these thin wheat flour pancakes are always delightful. This recipe is refreshing, sweet, and summery, and a great example of how great simple ingredients can be.
INGREDIENTS: Eggs, caster sugar, milk, salt, vanilla pod, flour, dark rum, butter.
Many Americans are familiar with the Kir Royale, a blush cocktail made with crème de cassis (black currant liqueur) and champagne. But its less bubbly sister, a Kir, made with crème de cassis and crisp white wine, is more of an everyday beverage--and perfect for a casual Bastille Day fête. Some people like to garnish this champagne cocktail with a twist of citrus or a raspberry, but we like it pure and unadulterated.
INGREDIENTS: Crème de cassis, crisp white wine or Champagne.
SKILL LEVEL: Beginner.
Photographs: 1. Jamie Oliver, 2. Julia Gartland (photographer and source), 3. Todd Coleman for Saveur, 4. HELLO!, 5. aliasemma via Shutterstock, 6. Martha Stewart, 7. French For Everyone by Manu Feidel 8. The Law Student's Wife