Sunday, April 5, 2009

Déjeuner

Although I've heard this is changing a bit, most French do not take their lunch to work. In French cities and towns there is bistro or café near where one works, and two hour lunches make it easier to go out for le déjeuner. But here in America, I teach school and take my lunch to work, as do many of us. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy a delicious déjeuner.

For summer lunches in France, we almost always have salade composée: a handful of mixed greens and to which we add hardboiled egg, beans, tomato, olives--whatever we have on hand. For lunch salads we'll often add bits left over from last night's dinner--haricots verts, roasted potatoes, even chicken or beef--all tossed with a vinaigrette. The salade composée makes an informal but lovely presentation, and when paired with bread (to absorb the leftover vinaigrette), is a satisfying lunch.

This is something that I have continued to do here at home. After dinner each evening, I'll save any leftover bits to make a lovely lunch salad. In the morning, I add them to some baby greens--mesclun, romaine, mâche--put all in a lunch container (I use a small divided bento-type keeper from the Container Store), et voilà! At lunchtime, add a drizzle of olive oil and Alessi white balsamic vinegar for a delicious déjeuner. Simple, healthy, and very French.

Bon appetit!

9 comments:

  1. Good for you. Do you have some alone time for lunch at work? I live close enough to work to go home and eat so I am very lucky. My work is the most unappetizing place to try and eat lunch. Lots of interruptions. Oh how I wish I had a little cafe around the corner and a 2 hour lunch every day!

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  2. I wonder, now with this economy, if the French are taking their lunch to work now too?

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  3. Yes, the French are taking their lunch to work more, and it is no longer considered so *foreign.*

    Many things are changing in France, I believe. Here's an interesting article about the two-hour lunch in France. Can't link it in this comments section, but you can cut and paste into your browser.

    http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/economic-woes-threaten-europes-two-hour-lunch-271218/

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  4. How lovely your lunch sounds. My husband and I just took a trip this past week and ate "on the road" too much. I feel absolutely dreadful after eating so much fast food. This week I will be returning to my usual french inspired diet....I believe I will try your salad :)

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  5. Traveling can really put a dent in good eating habits, and eating on the road is a challenge. I try to stop in convenience stores where I can often find a sandwich, fruit, and a piece of chocolate which is probably better than Le Big Mac.

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  6. Your dejeuner sounds delicious!....and healthy too.....the bread to soak up the last of the dressing...yum! A glass of wine and a piece of chocolat would complete it.....but then I might not get back to work!
    Be well, Laura

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  7. Laura, thanks for the comment, and thanks for visiting. I visited you blog this morning: that's a beautiful linen piece you found.

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  8. I do this too. Most days I can go home and eat but sometimes I will be "on the road" during lunch hours so I pack salad, an egg or some cheese, a little bread, water and some fruit. Then all I have to do is stop at a small park and have a nice lunch. I had not thought of putting roasted potatoes in my salad before, I think I might try that later this week.

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  9. How lucky your are to be able to go home for lunch!

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