Serious Entertaining: Bastille Day

Serious Entertaining

Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.


[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

Sad that the Fourth of July is over? Well don't put away your red, white, and blue quite yet. July 14 is Bastille Day, the national day of France. Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, an act of political defiance that essentially marks the beginning of the French Revolution. The holiday is celebrated all over France with parades, picnics, and lots of champagne. If this sounds good to you, join me in saying, Vive la France!

Haricot Verts with Sauce Ravigote


Translation? Thin, crisp green beans tossed in a lively mustard-caper vinaigrette. Sauce Ravigote is a favorite French dressing of mine. The addition of diced shallots, briny capers, and fresh herbs transforms a traditional vinaigrette into the perfect sauce for steamed vegetables. The acidity in the sauce makes these beans are a perfect foil for the rich, eggy Red Pepper Quiche.

Red Pepper Quiche


Like all my favorite quiches, this version starts with a flaky, savory crust that stays crisp against the creamy filling. What sets this quiche apart is the aggressive amount of red pepper packed inside. Traditional, silky quiches are wonderful, but I enjoy this veggie version in the summer when red peppers are at their peak. The red pepper lightens the flavor and provides a bit of sweetness to pair with the thick layer of melted, delightfully stinky and salty gruyère cheese.

Dark Chocolate Pots de Crème


Scan the dessert menu at a brasserie in France and chances are you'll find chocolate pots de crème. A combination of egg yolks, heavy cream, milk, sugar, and chocolate create an intensely rich dark chocolate custard. Serve them in the traditional chubby ramekins and toast la belle France.