Did you know that we have a ton of classic and modern French recipes that need a new home in your kitchen? And we’ve got even more for our tartare and au vin enthusiast friends: handy explainers, crucial techniques and in-depth guides about our favorite treats from France. Take a deep dive into our colorful French food section for dishes from award-winning chefs and cookbook writers, and freshen up your repertoire from one of the most famous food cultures in the world. Here are a few of our recent favorites:
Recipe: Communal Salade Niçoise
I have loved salade Niçoise for as long as I can remember. My version is less traditional — I’ve swapped fresh tuna for the meaty pink Italian kind that comes packed in olive oil; I’m partial to substituting roasted tomatoes if fresh aren’t truly in season; and I suggest creamy green olives instead of the traditional black — but the communal concept is the same. Everyone gets a little bit of everything with only one plate to wash.
To be totally honest, this isn’t a classic French recipe. It is, however, inspired by two very French ideas — chocolate mousse and salted caramel — and it uses them to create one of my all-time favorite recipes. Rather innocent-looking, these tartlets are filled with a layer of liquid salted caramel and topped with a layer of chocolate mousse that is baked, so that when you cut into the tartlet you get a light-as-a-feather chocolate cake with a liquid caramel filling.
Recipe: Skate Au Poivre
No, not a typo, rather cartilaginous ray, cooked with the classic pepper sauce. The soft flesh has a robust flavor and holds up well to all that creamy pungency. Crack the pepper in a pestle and mortar and apply liberally.
This section of the book turned out to be a who’s who of comfort food — and it wouldn’t be complete without the king of comfort foods: mac and cheese. As a kid in Hong Kong, I remember reading about this exciting dish and desperately wanting to try it. I also remember my disappointment when, having coaxed my mother or some nanny into buying a ready-made version, I realized that maybe it wasn’t the best food in the world after all. But all that is relative. You reap as you sow. I still believe in the power of mac and cheese when it is done right. With just enough glorious, pungent cheese, it can still be, on a good day, the best food that a little girl ever dreamed existed.
Recipe: French Olive Flatbread
Michel Roux Jr. is one of Britain’s most celebrated French chefs, helming renowned London restaurant Le Gavroche and author of the new cookbook The French Kitchen. Not for the beginner, yet not so advanced you’d need two Michelin stars (like Roux has) to pull them off, these recipes honor the foundation of classic French cuisine while looking to the future. This rustic, delicious French bread studded with briny olives is a much-loved confection all over the country. Re-create it in your kitchen and serve warm with a smear of butter.