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Mar 22, 2010 11:39 AM

ideas for relatively healthy French party food

I'm going to a French-themed party and need to bring a dish -- just something like a appetizer, snack, or treat, not a full entree or side dish. I don't eat dairy, so I want to bring something dairy-free and relatively healthy, but that's hard to find when you're talking about French food. ;-) So does anyone have any ideas for French or French-inspired food that I can either make as-is or perhaps tweak to be more healthy and dairy-free? So far my only idea is buckwheat crepes with some sort of non-cheese filling.

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  1. You could steam some asparagus, shock in cold water, then roll in a piece of Madrange French ham, perhaps first smearing on a bit of garlic aioli.

    1. If by healthy you mean low fat, it can get difficult. I like Niki's suggestion for asparagus and that reminds me of one of my favourite ways to serve asparagus, that is, blanched whole and served with a slightly more lemony Hollandaise sauce as a dip. Maybe you can make the sauce with olive oil (to be dairy-free).

      Buckwheat crepes would have been a great contribution too but I cannot think of any filling that does not involve butter, cream or cheese. I hope others can give you better suggestions.

      1. Why not do some baby artichokes with a lemon aioli. Artichokes are in season now in abundance.

        Or a two olive tapenade with some grilled french bread croustades. Think south of France and the more healthier flavors will come to you.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          T'as mis le doigt dessus!

          Salade Niçoise
          Soupe au Pistou

          1. re: Mr. Roboto

            Mais oui, biensur!

            J'aime la Pissaladiere et une tarte des poireaux - a leek tart, one of my all time faves.

            1. re: Mr. Roboto

              Ratatouille is what immediately came to mind when I read the OP. Serve that on top of some croustateds and do a French version of Bruschetta.

          2. the tartes and quiches mentioned are pretty typically French.

            You could also try herbed gougeres (savoury choux pastry puffs) - usually has cheese, but you could leave it out.

            Olives -- not the crummy ones out of a can --- oil-cured, brined with herbs

            The French do wonderful savoury cakes -- quick breads, but with things like salmon and dill, and the one that appeared yesterday at a party -- sweet potato and ginger. Sounds weird, tasted awesome.

            Pate au croute -- pate wrapped in pastry. Simple and delicious.

            (oops. Just saw how old this thread is. Hope your party was great!)

            (Healthy French is easy...non-dairy is the challenge)

            1. The only non-dairy vegetarian cooked French thing I can think of is ratatouille. Asparagus with a vinaigrette would also work.

              Something I really like is a simple tomato salad. It's sliced tomatoes and shallots with olive oil and vinegar. Be sure to use red wine or sherry vinegar. No real French person would use balsamic. It's not something you can really make ahead of time though. You have to make it just before serving.