Eat Something French for Bastille Day!

What the 4th of July is for the US, Bastille Day is for France. July 14 is a day of celebration, known as Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration). For all you Francophiles who are celebrating the anniversary of the French Revolution, or who just happen to be craving some French fare, we’ve compiled a few recipes that are perfectly suited to alfresco backyard picnics and outdoor dinner parties on Bastille Day, or any summer day! We’ve done all of the hard work for you, naturellment, and rounded up some of our favorite French recipes that will evoke that certain je ne sais quoi.

Bon appetit!


Not to be confused with the popular Disney movie about the little rat who dreams of becoming a chef, ratatouille the dish hails from the Provence region of France and includes a multitude of vegetables including eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs – all simmered in olive oil. It can be served hot, cold or at room temperature, and either as a hearty side dish, as an appetizer or a colorful vegetarian main! Get started with this robust Summer Harvest Ratatouille recipe.

Salade Niçoise

This composed salad, named for the city of Nice in southern France, was made famous in the United States by Julia Child. A staple of brasseries all over France, this is a high-protein, vegetable-filled meal consisting of lettuce, tomatoes, green beans and olives – plus hard-boiled egg and tuna or anchovies. Impress your guests with this Tuna Niçoise Salad with Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes recipe.

Coq au Vin

Hailing from the Burgundy region, coq au vin is one of the most famous and traditional of French dishes. “Coq” is the French word for “cock” or rooster (especially one well past his crowing days), which were used in ancient recipes. These days, it is recreated into the simple dish that it is, made with mushrooms, onions, bacon, red wine and (natch) chicken. Cook like Julia Child with this Weeknight Coq au Vin recipe.

Sole Meunière

Sole meunière is a classic French fish dish consisting of sole (a type of fish), preferably whole or fillet, that is dredged in flour, pan fried in butter and served with the resulting brown butter sauce, parsley and lemon. This is a dish that proves that not every French recipe has to be intimidating or complicated. For a lightened-up version at your fête, give this Sautéed Striped Bass with Summer Vegetables a try, or even this Oven Steamed Halibut.

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