This creamy spread is a specialty from Provence, where it’s sold in markets alongside olive tapenades. Serve with sliced baguette rounds or pita wedges.
Feel free to substitute your favorite cheese or a good melting vegan cheese, such as Vegan Gourmet Cheese Alternatives (a VT fave), in place of the Gruyère.
A specialty from Nice, in the south of France, this dessert surprises anyone outside of Provence or Italy (where they make a similar sweet), because few people think of putting greens in a tart.
In hospitals throughout France, meals always begin with potage, a blended vegetable soup of leeks, carrots, and potatoes. We’ve jazzed up the mild flavor with a quick pesto sauce that gets stirred in before serving.
You can now find roasted garlic cloves in jars at supermarkets, but it’s very easy to make your own. Simply trim the tops of whole garlic bulbs to expose the cloves, set on a piece of foil, and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap tightly in foil, and bake 30 to 35 minutes at 400°F, or until garlic bulbs are soft. Cool, and store in the fridge up to 5 days. To use, squeeze roasted garlic from cloves.
"Peppery arugula is like a spice itself," says French chef and instructor Emmanuel Tessier of La Cuisine Corsaire in Cancale, France. Toasting the arugula under cheese in these sandwiches slightly wilts the leaves for a texture that's a cross between cooked spinach and crunchy lettuce.
Steaming couscous with a can of chopped tomatoes adds flavor and color without any extra work.
Parisian bistros serve chèvre chaud salads—mixed greens tossed with a tangy vinaigrette, then topped with baguette slices and thick slices of toasted soft goat cheese. Here we take a twist on that classic dish by broiling goat cheese on a pear half for an elegant appetizer or a light cheese course. Serve with slices of French bread and a salad, if desired.
This savory entreacute;e, inspired by rustic French freeform tarts, also serves nicely as an appetizer for as many as 10. The wholesome plant-oil crust tastes great, and the pastry is easy to work with. If it tears when you’re handling it, it’s a cinch to pinch it back together. Try it with a green bean and feta cheese salad.
The French love to assemble single-serving desserts in glasses, and this easy Charlotte makes for an elegant treat. Dried lavender teases floral notes out of the pears.
Sonia Morin, of Altadena, Calif., created this not-too-sweet shortbread while “toying with the idea of having a French-themed afternoon tea,” she says. If you can’t find crème de framboise, you can substitute any raspberry-infused liqueur to add bright, fruity flavor.