Serve up easy elegance with this Bastille Day brunch menu. All the classics, including crepes, true Belgian waffles, and pain perdu, are part of the selection, along with new, delicious breakfast-to-lunch inspirations.
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This French toast recipe, or pain perdu, is an easy preparation of thickly sliced bread soaked in a sweetened, vanilla-scented custard mixture and then fried in butter to golden perfection. The name pain perdu literally means lost bread and is used in reference to using day-old bread that would otherwise be lost. Dress up this French toast recipe with a dusting of confectioners' sugar, whipped cream, or fresh berries.
True Belgian waffles use yeast to get their signature airy interiors. Try this authentic version with whipped cream and strawberries or a simple dusting of powdered sugar.
This classic French potato salad is incredibly easy to make and compliments any kind of meal. Prepare it when dinner is simply too much to handle and you still want to eat healthy food.
©Rebecca Franklin, Licensed to About.com
This spinach souffle recipe is a wonderful way to use up the fresh harvest at the farmers' market. It’s a lovely, easy preparation that can be served as a side dish or a light main course. If you want to get really creative, bake up the spinach-egg mixture in tiny ramekins for an unexpected appetizer. However you serve it, this souffle is likely to be a delicious winner and instant classic in your household.
This country cheese and apple tart recipe from Burgundy is made with Epoisses cheese and pate brisee. Epoisses is made by monks at the abbey of Citeaux and was reportedly adored by Napoleon. In a pinch, Muenster cheese can be used as a substitute, but it does remove the authenticity of the dish. This tart is an incredibly easy and nutritious dinner to make when you’re in a rush.
©Stefania Pomponi Butler
Soupe au pistou is a remarkably versatile soup from Provence. Use whatever fresh vegetables you have on hand. This recipe utilizes ingredients easily found in most kitchens. The single requirement in an otherwise adaptable list of vegetables, herbs and pasta is that the finished soup must be garnished with pistou, or pesto.
Boasting a bed of bright green, roasted asparagus drizzled with luxurious hollandaise sauce and a single poached egg, this asparagus with poached eggs and hollandaise recipe just begs to be served at a special brunch. If you're not already confident in poaching eggs, practice a bit before the big day. Once you get the hang of gently sliding a freshly cracked egg into barely simmering water, it's as easy as can be - just like riding a bike. This dish makes a beautiful, colorful presentation and is oh-so rich.
Crepes with salted butter caramel is a classic Breton dessert. Salted caramel has a tangy, rich taste that has garnered a cult following. The best thing is that it’s so easy to make. Add vanilla Chantilly cream and sautéed apples to your finished crepes for a truly impressive dessert.
Flickr user odonata98
The beauty of this simple macerated strawberries recipe is that it provides a way to add life to berries that aren't ripe enough or are a bit past their prime. A sprinkle of sugar and a drizzle of lemon juice transforms a ho-hum package of strawberries into a flavorful, juicy treat worthy of adding to your favorite desserts. Try the lightly sweetened, fresh strawberry sauce on sponge cake, ice cream, or yogurt; your imagination is the limit!
If there was a single recipe in the world that reminds me of my youth, it's this sponge cake recipe. My family would sit around the old, wooden kitchen table at the end of a summer evening, and enjoy squares of the light, sugary cake with nothing more than fresh, cut strawberries. This sponge cake can be enjoyed with any seasonal fruit, and in Savoy, it's traditional to drizzle a bit of crème anglaise over it.
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