Bastille Day Menu

5 July 2023

The Bastille in Paris was originally a fortress but later became a state prison that often housed political prisoners. However, in the summer of 1789 it was seldom used and was actually scheduled to be demolished. Since it was a symbol of Bourbon royalty, on July 14 of that year a mob attacked the facility demanding the munitions that were being housed there. It signaled the start of the French Revolution with the capture of the Bastille and the release of all seven prisoners.

Fortunately, the French colors are the same red, white, and blue that you used just a few days ago for our own Independence Day celebration, so you have the décor all ready. Here are a cold soup, casserole of summer vegetables, and a fancy dessert. Add some crusty bread and a bottle or two from your favorite local vintner and you can all proclaim “Vive le France”.



  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 leeks, bulb only, sliced into rings
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cups broth, chicken or vegetable
  • ¼ cup heavy cream


  • Melt butter in a large stockpot over a low heat. Add leeks and onion and saute for 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Add marjoram, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir well and cook covered for 12 minutes.
  • Add broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook (partially covered) for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaf. Using a food processor or blender, puree the mixture. Allow to cool to room temperature and add cream.



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 large onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom and sides of a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Heat other tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
  • Cook garlic until golden brown. Add eggplant and parsley. Cook until eggplant is tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place mixture evenly in the bottom of the casserole. Sprinkle with a few tablespoons of Parmesan. Continue layering with zucchini, Parmesan, tomatoes, Parmesan, mushrooms, Parmesan, onion, Parmesan, bell pepper, Parmesan.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Tarte Tatin


  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and quartered (or any fresh seasonal fruit)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 9-inch unbaked pie crust, homemade or purchased


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  • Coat a 10-inch oven-proof or cast iron skillet with butter. Sprinkle sugar evenly over the butter.
  • Place fruit rounded side down on top of butter and sugar mixture, forming a circular pattern.
  • Cook over medium-high heat until butter is melted, sugar is dissolved and caramelization begins. Continue cooking until fruit is soft and caramel is brown.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Roll pie dough into an 11-inch circle.
  • Place crust on top of fruit and tuck in edges.
  • Bake until crust is golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Place a serving plate over the top of the pan and carefully invert to release the tarte. Add any remaining fruit to the dessert.

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