Bastille Day Menu for your own Frenchie Celebration

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The French celebrate their independence on Bastille Day, July 14th each year.  This is the day the French Revolutionists stormed the Bastille releasing its prisoners.  It’s considered the turning point of that conflict which ultimately overturned monarch rule in France.

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There is always a parade down the Champs Elysees with the beautiful Arc de Triomphe as the centerpiece and plenty of fireworks once dark falls on the city.

Glass of rose wine.

It’s a great excuse to pop open a bottle of rosé and invite a few friends for a simple dinner.

Hot July temperatures call for lighter dishes Like Ham and Avocado Tartine, a pretty salad and a sweet treat like my Chocolate Madeleines.  Enjoy!

Prosciutto and avocado tartine

Ham and Avocado Tartine

4 slices rustic bread toasted

1 clove garlic

1 avocado

4 slices deli ham or prosciutto

1 cucumber sliced

Pinch crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Rub each slice of bread with garlic clove and discard.  Place bread on baking sheet and toast on both sides for about 3 minutes. Mash ¼ of the avocado on each slice of bread, season with salt and pepper.  Add cucumber. Place ham on top and sprinkle with crushed red pepper and plenty of salt and pepper and serve.

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Purple Flower Salad

2 mini purple lettuce heads

1 cup carrot matchsticks

1/2 yellow bell pepper, finely chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

1/4 dried cranberries

Balsamic Vinaigrette

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

1 garlic clove, pressed

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of both salt and pepper

½ cup olive oil

Hold each lettuce head firmly in your hand and cut the bottom root off.  Hold the head firmly as you run cold water through the bundle to clean the lettuce.  Place bundle in the center of a serving platter and release it so the leaves form a circle.  Repeat with second bundle on top of the first one creating the flower petals. Place the carrots in the center of the lettuce flower and spread them out a bit.  Mound the yellow peppers in the center of the carrots.  Next, place the walnuts then cranberries on top of the vegetables; you will create rings of color. To prepare the dressing, add vinegar, garlic, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk well to combine.  Add olive oil in a steady stream whisking vigorously until it is all mixed and you have a silky dressing.  Serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

Plate of chocolate Madeleine's.

Chocolate Madeleines

¾ cup butter

1 ½ cups sugar

¾ cup flour

¾ cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder

3 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Extra butter and flour for preparing pans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour madeleine pans well, and set aside.    Melt ¾ cup butter in a microwave safe bowl.  Add cocoa powder to butter and mix well.  Stir in sugar and then eggs.  Add flour, salt and vanilla and mix until combined. Spoon a walnut sized portion into each madeleine shell.  Place madeleine pans on a baking sheet and into the oven for 14-18 minutes until edges are set and tops are puffed.

 

There is still space in Herbs Fresh from the Garden at the Arboretum, hope to see you there!

au revoir for now lorie (002)

 

 

Caprese Panini and HERBS at the Arboretum

MInt growing in Lorie's garden.

There is nothing like herbs fresh from the garden to bump up the flavor quotient of your summer foods. I will be celebrating all-things HERBS at the Arboretum on Saturday, July 20th from 11:00-1:00, register TODAY!

basket of herbs at the french market

Do you have a favorite herb?  Mine is basil. I thought I would share one of my most-loved herb recipes; Basil Pesto and my favorite way to eat it, Caprese Panini!

basil pesto

Pesto is typically made with pine nuts but my version uses walnuts.  I always have walnuts on hand and I think it makes the pesto really creamy.  My basil rich pesto only calls for 1 tablespoon of olive oil, you can definitely use more but I personally don’t like an oily mouthfeel so it’s perfect for us.

Lorie clipping basil

There is something so gratifying about going to the garden to pick basil for a bright green batch of goodness.  It’s not too late to plant basil and reap the rewards right up until the first frost!

caprese panini

 

Caprese Panini

1 loaf French bread sliced in about ¾ inch slices

6 slices provolone cheese or fresh mozzarella

½ cup sun dried tomatoes drained and chopped

2 large tomatoes sliced thin and drained

1/3 cup fresh basil pesto

Olive oil

Brush grill pan with olive oil and turn burner to medium heat.   Make sandwiches by spreading a generous amount of pesto on every other slice of bread. Sprinkle pesto with sun-dried tomatoes.  Add cheese and fresh tomato slices and top with additional bread slice to create a sandwich.  Place sandwiches on grill with a panini press on top; grill each side for about 2 minutes until golden brown.

Basil Pesto

1 ½ cups fresh basil compacted

2 garlic cloves

½ cup walnuts

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese grated

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Place basil, garlic, walnuts, salt in food processor, pulse until smooth, add Parmesan, olive oil and process until mixed well.

herbs

Arboretum- Herbs Fresh From the Garden or market. Do you cultivate a garden full of fresh herbs and want to cook more with them or maybe you love picking up fresh herbs at the local farmers markets; either way this class will delight with flavors from the earth.   The tasty dishes will begin with a vibrant appetizer of freshly made Chimichurri Hummus as pretty as it is tasty.  Next up, crispy Herbed Greek Salad that will have you diving in bite after bite.  For the main course we will prepare succulent Herb and Pistachio Crusted Chicken served with fresh from-the-garden Tomato Gratin. For a decadent treat, we will make Herb and Garlic Parmesan Knots.  For a sweet finish delectable Basil Infused Berries and Cream will not disappoint!

Hope you will tell me your favorite herb!  See you at the Arboretum!

au revoir for now lorie (002)