There are a few things I look forward to in the summer; hot summer days, cool summer nights, and Bastille Day. Bastille Day is the common name given to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year.
There are a few ingredients that are a must have when we celebrate Bastille Day; wine, cheese, veggies, olives, figs, nuts, grapes, Mediterterian salts, just to mention a few. This Bastille Day menu we are keeping it simple and light with a delicious combination of healthy, salty, and sweet French ingredients.
I like to have a few choices of French wine on hand for dinner guests –about 4
- George Duboeuf Beaujolais-Villages 2015, about $9.99-$12.99 a bottle. Opens with notes of ripe strawberry and black currant that almost jump out of the glass. On the palate, the wine has notes of bright juicy cherries and raspberries, a smooth velvety mouth feels and a touch of cinnamon on the finish.Has a great pairing for cheese and charcuterie, burgers, grilled chicken or roast salmon. Best served lightly chilled.
- Georges Duboeuf Pouilly-Fuissé 2015, about $24.99 – $34.99 a bottle. Aromas of roasted almonds, peach and pear on the nose lead to a wine that’s beautifully structured with flinty minerality and a long lasting finish. Very food-friendly but also great to enjoy on its own.
- Marie de Beauregard Vouvray 2015, about $19.99 a bottle. A stunning pale gold color with some bluish tints. On the nose, mineral expression of chalk and flint followed by a burst of ripe pear, acacia honey, candied fruits, and lemon. The palate has a beautiful balance of freshness and sweetness with a silky texture.
- Marie de Beauregard Chinon 2015, about $19.99 a bottle. It has a beautiful garnet color with purple reflections. The nose is fruity with aromas of blackberry and cassis, perfectly blended with woody notes. The palate is well balanced with silky tannins elegantly bearing notes of stewed sweet spices, highlighted with a hint of vanilla.
French Cheese such as is another addiction of mine, I usually place about 2-3 different ones on my Fruit and cheese board for guests. More than 2-3 cheeses, I find my guests a little overwhelmed and too full for dinner. Usually, I like to place a mixture of veggies, fruit, cheese, figs, dates, olives, nuts, and so on.
These are the two types of cheese used on my board today
- St. Andre – Saint André ® is rich as pure butter. soft-ripened triple cream cheese gets its salty tang from the ocean air that blows through Normandy’s coastal pastures. Goes well with Loire Valley wines or champagne or white beer. Cheeseboards, fruits, and crackers. Pairs well with sweet and salty ingredients.
- St. Agur – A unique and intense Blue cheese with a smooth buttery finish and rich in butterfat. The rich mountain milk is collected daily from the Auvergne region. The cheese has a unique blue color with a true blue character. This cheese is wonderful in salads, as a topping on steak, potatoes, or plain on a cheese board. Pairs well with pears, bacon, or served on a fresh baguette.
Here are a few examples for you of a simple cheese, fruit, and veggie boards or platters. You can make your Bastille Day board as simple or elegant as you like for your Bastille Day gathering. The idea is to combine sweet ingredients and salty ingredients that will pair exceptionally well with your favorite wines.
I usually like to serve a simple clean tasting salad for my guests; the one below is just organic greens, organic rainbow carrots, dates, St. Agur blue cheese, walnuts, and a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, La Baleine kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.
For the main course, I decided on a French Vegetable Tian combining organic zucchini, yellow squash, garden fresh red tomatoes, onions, garlic, thyme, La Baleine Grey Sea Salt, and fresh ground pepper. Vegetable Tian is really is a wonderful classic French Dish that can be served as a side or main course. It’s a truly stunning dish, but yet so simple and easy to make.
Vegetable Tian Recipe
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 6-7 organic plum tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 medium zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 medium yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 teaspoon La Baleine Grey Sea Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus extra sprigs
Instructions for Vegetable Tian
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking dish with extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray if desired.
- In a medium metal saute pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook the yellow onions over medium-low heat for about 6-8 minutes, until softened. Add the minced garlic to the metal pan and saute for another minute. Spread the onion and garlic mixture on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Slice the plum tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash into 1/4-inch thick slices. Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making 1 layer. Sprinkle the vegetables with sea salt, pepper, fresh thyme leaves, and thyme sprigs and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover the dish, remove the thyme sprigs, and bake for another 25- 30 minutes until lightly browned.
- Serve while still warm.
© Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch, 2017-2013 unauthorized use and/or duplication of content/ material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Heidy L. McCallum and The McCallum’s Shamrock Patch with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.