Sunday was M. Parret’s turn to host a celebration of his country’s national holiday, Bastille Day. He wanted to have little French flags for his table like the American flags I had for July 4th but he searched all over town and couldn’t find them anywhere. Bizarre. I guess we Americans are more patriotic? Or just innate exhibitionists :)
We were a party of 10; Dominique and Pascal, Willy and Toutune, Serge and Serge, myself, my husband, Jade and Le Parret. We knew it was going to be demanding but we brought experience and enthusiasm to the table.
If we had harbored any hopes of getting home by 5 or 6:00 p.m., we discarded them and began with a magnum of Bailly cremant, fois gras, charcuterie and garden tomatoes ;)
For my contribution to the feast, I made a Basque piperade tart as an entree. This is the perfect season for this type of tart because of all of the fabulous produce in the market.
I also picked up some Bayonne ham and a fresh goat cheese from my favorite cheese stand. With these ingredients, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Right again :D
For his main course M. Parret chose pan roasted chicken and guinea fowl with garden potatoes and green beans. So French!
It was a warm day and I have to admit that at this point we started to flag a bit, but after some spirited, petty bickering about canned green beans, we opened another red and refreshed, continued.
Gratuitous Jade photo. And of course Serge #1. Whatever :D
It was difficult for me to get this picture of the cheese because some people (nameless) kept trying to serve themselves. There were whole arms in the pictures! Sigh.
As usual, in the absence of the “course police”, I combined my salad course with that of the cheese ;)
For dessert the Serges contributed a voluptuous tiramisu, decorated with raspberries and verbena.
Serge #2 did admit that while he was responsible for the decoration, the tiramisu itself was purchased at a patisserie. Who cares?! It was rich and delicious, the raspberries the best of the season!
As if we needed more goodness, Dominique made a gorgeous apple tart, one of the best I’ve ever seen and tasted.
I believe we had coffee.
Basque Piperade Tarte
1 pre-rolled short crust pastry sheet
1/2 each, large red and green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 round zucchini, halved and thinly sliced
2 tomatoes, seeded, halved and sliced
3 eggs, beaten
7-8 ounces Bayonne ham, chopped
7-8 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
1/2 tsp piment d’espelette
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the pastry in a pie plate with parchment paper. Stab a few holes in the pastry with a fork and refrigerate until ready to use.
Saute the peppers, onions and garlic in the olive oil until the peppers are crisp tender. Add the tomatoes and zucchini, then continue to cook until the zucchini is just wilted. Drain and set aside to cool.
Mix the eggs, cheese, piment, ham, and chives together, then add to the cooled vegetables. Pour this mixture into the pastry lined plate and bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool, then remove the finished tart from the pan with the help of the parchment paper.