Bastille Day Picnic

16 07 2008

The Champ de Mars on Bastille Day

While this is still timely, I’d like to wish everyone a happy Bastille Day.  (For those of you who don’t know, July 14th is also the Fête de Ste. Camille – my name day!  So nice of them to put on a fireworks show for all the Camilles out there.)

Anyway, we had a picnic with a couple thousand of our closest friends on the Champ de Mars, the park in front of the Eiffel Tower.  Our little group managed to bring enough food to feed everyone, I think.

This is a picnic for 5 people!

We had pita bread, baguettes, potted tuna, stuffed peppers, dolmas, hummus, baba ghanoush (homemade by yours truly), pasta salad, no less than four bags of chips, three kinds of cheese, three different cookie flavors (one of which was peanut butter, also made by me), and the now-notorious onion dip, front and center.  Since there were only five of us eating, joined by four more later, we managed to make two meals out of this spread.  It was a long afternoon spent lounging in the sun and enjoying the scenery.  Really, just like the 4th of July, only 10 days later.

I feel like I’ve been teasing you a bit with the onion dip, so without further ado, here’s my recipe (with thanks again to my friend Pete for the suggestion):

Pete’s Caramelized Onion-Bacon Dip


1 oz./25 g bacon, chopped (about 2 slices)

2 medium onions, sliced

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Cayenne pepper

White wine

Rosemary red wine vinegar (substitute balsamic or sherry vinegar)


1 lb./500 g crème fraîche or sour cream


  1. Put the chopped bacon in a medium skillet over low heat.  Cook until most of the fat has rendered out.
  2. Add onions and season with salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (bear in mind the bacon is already contributing some salt).  Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions deepen in color to a nice golden brown.  When you start to notice browning on the bottom of the pan, splash in a bit of white wine and stir to scrape up the brown bits.  When the onions are the desired color, add a hit of vinegar to the pan to keep them moist.  Remove from heat and cool a few minutes.
  3. Stir onion-bacon mixture into crème fraîche.  Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.  It is best if you wait an hour or so before serving it, but that can be hard to do.  Serve with potato chips, crackers, baguette slices, crudités…


Serves:  Fewer people than you might think.




6 responses

16 07 2008

So great to see that photo – Hubby and I were in Paris in early May for 2 weeks honeymooning and I miss it already – Thanks for the wonderful reminder!!

Love the yummy recipe as well.


16 07 2008

Yes! Onion Dip! Wahoo! And happy name day 🙂

Also, I can’t believe you were picnicking at the Eiffel Tower with friends for Bastille Day, so was I!! Only I was near Trocadero overlooking the tower that way for the fireworks instead of on the Champs de Mars. There weren’t many people picnicking on our side and everyone was looking over at our spread jealously (I can only imagine if we had had onion dip!), even the cops 😉

17 07 2008

Oh, onion dip NOT from a powder mix. I LOVE IT! I’m going to surprise Fattie with this one tomorrow….

Happy 4th and 14th. :p


17 07 2008

Cathy – Early May was absolutely gorgeous here! We honeymooned in Paris, too – in fact, that’s when we started thinking about moving here. Glad you enjoyed it!

Hopie – Thanks! You just reminded me of a very odd thing that happened that day. We were asked by a couple of random tourists if they could have their picture taken with us. We assumed it was because of our awesome picnic!

Dish – Enjoy! Welcome back, and congratulations!

18 07 2008

Love the photo! Never been to Paris for le quatorze. I’m getting hungry . . . Love your blog 🙂

18 07 2008

Thanks! It was a blast!

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