Healthy French Recipes
French Onion Soup with Whole-Grain Cheese Toast
For this lighter version of the classic French onion soup, freshly grated Gruyère cheese is melted over whole-grain toast and served on top of the soup.
Hot Niçoise Salad
Gwyneth Paltrow transforms one of her favorite salads, the Niçoise, into a hearty one-dish dinner by roasting tuna steaks on a tangle of beans, tomatoes, anchovies and olives.
Provençal Fish Soup
Chef Sara Simpson flavors her lush seafood soup with port, red wine and the usual dash of licorice-scented Pernod.
Scallops with Fennel Grenobloise
Quick-cooking scallops are excellent with sweet fennel and a buttery lemon-caper sauce.
Seared Cod with Spicy Mussel Aioli
From Eric Ripert of Manhattan's Le Bernardin comes this simple, sophisticated dish that relies on store-bought mayonnaise to enrich the sublime garlicky mussel sauce.
Marseille-Style Shrimp Stew
Large shrimp make this a knife-and-fork stew. Melissa Clark spreads a garlicky French rouille on toasts for dipping in the stew.
Ted Allen's Lobster Bouillabaisse
A classic bouillabaisse often contains six or more different kinds of fish. "But for my money, you really just need lobster, a firm fish and either mussels or clams," says Ted Allen. Even in a simplified version of the Provençal seafood stew, Allen still thinks it's important to make a broth; here, he uses the lobster shells. "For a stronger seafood flavor, add a bottle of clam juice to the finished stock," he says.
Chilled Fennel-Grapefruit Velouté with Lemon Olive Oil
Chef Hiroki Yoshitake cleverly uses grapefruit oil to boost the flavor in his chilled four-ingredient soup. Lemon olive oil is a terrific alternative, and easier to find in the US. The citrus oil is used in two different ways: for sautéing fennel before pureeing it with grapefruit juice, and for garnishing the soup before serving.
Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs
Sophie Dahl fondly refers to this dish as Paris Mash because she used to make it in Paris while visiting an artist friend, Annie Morris. With herbs and a scattering of mâche (a sweet and tender green), the stewy lentils become a perfect combination of soup and salad. French green lentils work best here, because they hold their shape when cooked.
Vegetable Ragout with Fresh Herbs
This recipe was inspired by the time chef Jeremiah Tower spent cooking with culinary genius Richard Olney in France. The vegetable combination here is only one of many, though Tower never uses more than seven vegetables and never uses tomatoes unless they are sweet cherry tomatoes.
Black Olive Tapenade with Figs and Mint
What makes this tapenade special is the clever mix of oil- and brine-cured olives and the surprise of sweet, fresh and tangy notes from the dried figs, mint and capers.
Fallen Toasted-Almond Soufflés with Poached Pears and Prunes
These soufflés collapse gracefully in their molds, so there’s no need to rush them to the table; they are more like a light cake than a fragile whipped-egg-white confection.
Summer Blackberry Custards
Alain Coumont makes these ethereal, citrusy custards with wild blackberries gathered from his property. Try them with blueberries, raspberries or pitted cherries, too.
Fennel Mussels with Piquillo Rouille
Before Chris Kronner makes this dish, he forages mussels from the nearby coast. "You have to climb down a 75-foot rock face on a rickety ladder; it's intense," he says.
Crêpes with Strawberries and Muscat-Yogurt Sauce
Nichole Birdsall tops these crêpes with strawberries, a superfruit high in vitamin C and potent antioxidants, and a creamy, orangey sauce sweetened with a splash of Bonterra Muscat dessert wine instead of sugar.
Halibut and Summer Vegetables en Papillote
Caramelized Endives with Apples
Creamy Anchoïade with Crudités
Anchoïade, a Provençal puree of anchovies, garlic and olive oil, is often slathered on grilled bread or served as a dip. Use any combination of crudités—from thin shavings of spicy black radish to florets of broccoli romanesco, a relative of broccoli and cauliflower.
Poached Eggs with Parmesan and Smoked Salmon Toasts
Dipping a crispy toast finger (the French call it a mouillette) in a soft egg yolk has to be one of life's great pleasures. "When I was a kid, I loved it," says Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Evidently, he's still fond of it because he has created an adult version that's elegant enough to serve as a first course at a dinner party: He wraps smoked salmon around half of the toasts and sprinkles the rest with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, so it melts and forms a salty crust when baked.