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Classic French dishes that are perfect for Bastille Day

Bastille Day is a great excuse to have a French style picnic, lunch or dinner. And these quick and simple classic French dishes are perfect for Bastille Day.

In France Quartorze Juillet, 14th July, is a national holiday, it’s only English-speaking countries that call it Bastille Day. It basically celebrates the symbolic end of the French monarchy. On 14 July 1789 a mob approached the Bastille, a medieval fortress used as a prison, and demanded the arms and ammunition held there. It was the beginning of the French Revolution. Today it’s a day for firework displays, getting together with friends and family and enjoying delicious French dishes.

These super summery French recipes are ideal for celebrating Bastille Day. They are all easy to make, no one wants to spend the whole day in the kitchen!

Starters and snacks:

Goat cheese toasted sandwich French style!

Goat’s cheese and honey are the perfect taste combination. Pop them between two slices of bread and toast them and you have a quick, easy to make sensational feast. Recipe for goats’ cheese toastie French style.

Pair with Sauvignon Blanc from the Loire Valley or a white from Bordeaux that combines a Semillon grape with the tart acidity of Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris, to mirror the sweetness brought by the honey drizzle.

Roquefort butter and walnuts French canape

Roquefort butter (Roquefort beurre in French) is really easy to make and utterly delicious. You don’t have to add walnuts, but they do give a certain je ne sais quoi to a very simple dish. This recipe is from my neighbour Madame Bernadette in my little village in rural northern France. She is famous for her party food and this is one of her favourite go-to recipes. Recipe for Roquefort butter

Pair with Sauternes, it’s sweetness will bring out the best in this strong-tasting spread.

Courgette Fritters | Zucchini Cakes

Courgette fritters, or zucchini cakes, depending on what side of the pond you’re on, are a really easy dish to make. They make for fabulous snacks and are also good paired up with meat dishes or with tapas. We asked chef Nadia Sammut of the Michelin Star restaurant/hotel La Fenière in Lourmarin, Provence for her favourite zucchini cake recipe. Nadia is famous for her gluten free cooking, so this dish can be made with gluten free flour or ordinary all purposes/plain flour as you prefer.

With a glass of white Bordeaux or Sauvignon Blanc – irresistible…

Main meals:



Pissaladière is a delicious Provencal version of pizza is a firm favourite in Nice and the French Riviera.  It’s easy to make at home, is great for a snack or light meal, very moreish and goes well with a green salad or on its own or with a glass of chilled rosé or chablis. Recipe for Pissaladière

Classic Coq au vin

There’s a legend in France that the Coq au Vin recipe goes back to the Romans. The story goes that in 52 BC Julius Caesar arrived in France with his armies, intent on victory over the Gallic tribes. One of the Gallic chiefs sent Caesar a cockerel, meant to taunt him, a symbol of Gallic aggressiveness and bravery. Caesar who clearly had no respect for cocky symbols, had the bird cooked in wine. And promptly conquered the Gallic forces. Recipe for Coq au vin

The ideal wine for this is of course, a ruby red from Burgundy

Tarte Flambée – Flammekueche

Tarte flambée literally translates as ‘toasted tart or fired tart’ – but it’s not a tart, and it’s not toasted, and neither is it flambeed! Tarte flambée is its French name, but it’s also known as flammekueche which it’s called in the north of France, having originated in Alsace, northeast France.

It’s a cross between a flat pizza and a savoury tart. A thin sheet of unleavened dough is spread with crème fraiche, then you add toppings, which for a classic flammekueche includes include onion, lardons (bacon) and cheese but almost anything goes (though best not to add anything too wet as it makes the dough soggy). It’s absolutely delicious. And it’s perfect with a glass of Champagne or Riesling from Alsace. Recipe for Flammekueche


Tarte aux fraises – Strawberry and cream pie

Cecile de la Rue, author of Voila! A French Cookbook shares her absolutely scrumptious strawberry and cream pie recipe. It’s very easy to make and very more-ish! It’s perfect with Champagne – nothing says summer quite like strawberries and fizz! Recipe for strawberry and cream pie.

French Lemon Tart

Quite possibly the most delicious French lemon tart recipe you’ll ever taste! Created by 3 Michelin Star chef Gérald Passedat for his gorgeous cookbook Flavors from the French Mediterranean. Naturally, being in the south of France, Chef Passedat likes to use lemons from Menton in the French Riviera for “Tarte aux citrons de Menton” but any lemons will do…

It goes really well with Sauternes, a sweet white. Recipe for French lemon tart.

Tarte Tatin

A true classic French dessert, French Chef Daniel Galmiche adds his own touch to the traditional apple pie to tickle your taste buds and bring you the best Tarte Tatin recipe ever!

Pair it with Sauternes or Riesling – heavenly! Recipe for Tarte Tatin.

Finish with a selection of delicious French cheeses: How to make the perfect French cheese platter at home

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