French Potluck Dishes (For Bastille Day and Any Day)

Roasted Beet Salad. A beautiful French Potluck choice. Photo by Richard Swearinger.

French Christmas Potluck Recipes! So, you’ve been invited to bring something to a Christmas party, and for some great reason, you want to bring a French recipe for the potluck! Of course, you’d have dozens and dozens of recipes if you had my cookbook….But I’m here to help anyway. Some ideas, depending on what your goals are:

1. I want to showcase Fresh and Local in a French Way

Good for you! That’s what France is all about. Head to your farmers market then head home and make one of these seasonal recipes:

Piperade: This saucy, lightly spicey Basque side dish goes with anything!
French Roasted Beet Salad (Everybody loves this, I swear. And it’s especially good on the holiday table.)
Avocado and Radish Tabbouli (The vegans and vegetarians looking for something hearty will appreciate this.)

2. I Want to Bring Dessert….But It Has To Travel Well

• Chocolate-Cherry Pound Cake Bonne Femme: This is a great dessert to tote to a potluck. Bring a can of whipped cream alongside (Isigny St. Mère from Normandy, perhaps?) and a bowl of in-season fruit, such as cherries. They’re going to LOVE you for this.

Boeuf Bourguignon My Way

Boeuf Bourguignon My Way. Watch it disappear from the potluck table.

3. I want to bring a French potluck main dish everyone will love!

Then make my Beef Bourguignon, and tote it to the party in a slow-cooker so you can plug it in and keep it warm once there. Ask around and make sure someone is bringing some potatoes, noodles, rice, or another side dish (someone likely is), and you won’t have to worry about bringing the starchy side.

4. Okay, I want to bring a French Potluck main dish everyone will love, that’s NOT Boeuf Bourguignon.

Oh–you’re looking for something a little unexpected, are you? Try my Blanquette de Porc. It’s just SO good, and it’s a French classic that many people don’t know about

4. I want to steal the show, but I don’t have a way of reheating my dish.

Shrimp and French Green Lentil Salad: Pick up the freshest, fattest, sweetest shrimp you can find, chase down some true French green lentils from Le Puy, and make this sublime salad. It’s a good choice when you won’t be able to reheat your recipes for a French potluck when you arrive. This tastes great at room temperature.

Treat everyone to something wonderful. Put out a double-batch of this French Green Lentil Salad with Shrimp in one large bowl.

Have you seen my list of the best possible gifts for food-lovers and francophiles? Check it out.

5. I Want Something Francophiles Will Really “Get”

Oeuf-Mayo: This is a dish that screams “Classic French!” It’s all in the accompaniments. True Francophiles will think this is a true treat. PS: Much easier than deviled eggs. But you can serve them on that handy deviled egg tray your aunt gave you and put all the fun accompaniments in the center of the tray.

Oeufs Durs Mayonnaise—About as French as You Can Get. And Easy, Too

5. I don’t cook. What can I bring?

Red wine: Beaujolais (not Beaujolais Nouveau, mind you, but a lovely bottle of a Beaujolais cru). P.S.: It’s one of the few reds that tastes great chilled.

White Wine: Savennières (not a budget pick (spend around $20), but your wine-geek Francophile friends will ADORE you.

• French Bread from your best bakery and French Cheeses from your best cheese shop. Everyone will love you for this.


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6 comments to French Potluck Dishes (For Christmas, New Year’s and Any Day)

  • Geraldine Ventura

    Miniature quiches
    Tapenade with French Bread
    Sausages in three grapes sauce
    Mashed potatoes with shallots
    French Roasted Beet Salad(from your book)
    Individual Creme Brulees
    Red, white and rose wines

  • Geraldine Ventura

    I usually gain 5-7 pounds when in France so I will guess 6 for you

  • Sally

    Oeuf-Mayo is so good! I add a little garlic to the mayo, so it’s a little more like aioli, but it’s so simple and so tasty.

    • Wini

      Great idea. The thing about oeuf-mayo is that if you haven’t had it, you don’t really think it’s going to be that special (I mean, really, hard boiled eggs and mayonnaise? Big deal!). But it is really, really good.

  • Mary

    I used your Bonne Femme Cookbook as my “bible” for a Bastille Day party. Opened with charcuterie, Lillet, and kir royale. Served the roasted mushroom/goat cheese crepes and the spinach quiche. With a cheese plate I offered your Bright Mini salad. It was all wonderful. I even took your advice re: dessert (French women pick up dessert!) and picked up an array of mine-tarts etc. at Whole Foods, served with homemade vanilla ice cream. Digestifs were Calvados, and absinthe with spoon, sugar cube and water – a huge hit! On the run up to the party I served the chocolate cherry pound cake to my husband’s poker group — they inhaled it. Also tried pissaladiere but it was a fail; my fault, not your recipe. I love your book; thanks so much; looking forward to trying more recipes. Also I love that you are an Iowan; I was born in, and mother is still in, Grinnell.

    • Wini

      Thanks so much for this report….But I have to know: Why did the pissaladiere fail? Arrgggghghggh. Nothing worse than taking time to make something that doesn’t work out. Let me know–if you can pinpoint what happened, because I can warn readers against a pitfall (e.g.: overbaking the crust, etc.).

      But thanks for the report! Glad you’re enjoying the book.

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