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Not travel but food question

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Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
posts: 5,300
reviews: 54
Not travel but food question

Hi all. If it's OK I would love some non travel advice. I have become very interested in French cooking and am looking for summer food ideas. All my cookbooks feature hot mains but we live in a very hot climate and eat a lot of cold food. Are there any typical French mains that are actually served cold? Any help would be very appreciated.

Victoria, Canada
posts: 17,283
reviews: 52
1. Re: Not travel but food question

I can only go by my personal family experiences, not fancy stuff, just fresh and well done is key.

Cold steamed asparagus dressed with a bit of a vinigrette( red wine vinegar, shallots, dijon mustard , oil)

Tomato salad, garnished with lots of chopped parsely and a vinegrette dressing

Lunches often consisted of cold sliced roasted meats, or sometimes smoked ham, served with a nice green salad and some cheese after ..

Various versions of potato salads, sometimes the germain style , sometimes the trad mayo based style,but they never seem the same as what we serve here

Celery root salad, my dads favorite, but not mine.

Edited: 9:32 pm, November 17, 2012
Victoria, Canada
posts: 17,283
reviews: 52
2. Re: Not travel but food question

Oh forgot one of my favorites, cold green bean salad,, yum! Similar basic vinegrette , cold steamed beans, not soggy!

PS Making a good vinegrette is an art in our family with much debate about the acid/oil balance, there is a proportion but tastes vary, I like it a bit heavy on the mustard, and red wine vinegar, and often use garlic instead of shallots, good luck to you! lol

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
posts: 17,578
reviews: 25
3. Re: Not travel but food question

Have a look at



posts: 259
reviews: 2
4. Re: Not travel but food question

Patricia Wells has published two cookbooks--At Home in Provence and The Provence Cookbook--that have quite a few summer recepies that can be eaten cold or at room temperature. The also have "light" summer versions of more traditional French dishes like gratins. My own summer favorite is the plateau de fruits de mer, a mix of raw and cooked seafood that takes forever to eat (especially if one is winkling out winkles) and is delicious with chilled rosé.

Toowoomba, Australia
posts: 783
5. Re: Not travel but food question

Not a main meal, but we find ratatouille is as good cold the next day. And you could experiment with your own salade composee. Sadly we do not get lardons as such here, but bacon works, also quickly sauteed chicken livers. In France we do gesiers salads. But Woolies was all out of gesiers last time I looked. LOL I know these suggestions are not totally cold . How about a Nicoise salad? I sometimes do one to accompany salmon on the barbie, but most seem to use tinned tuna.

Joan1, that is my kind of vinaigrette. We stay in rentals when we visit France, and some of the first things we buy are olive oil, red wine vinegar and mustard. I also use garlic.

Have fun doing some research.

Tampa, Florida
posts: 29,810
reviews: 7
6. Re: Not travel but food question

Ratatouille can absolutely be a main meal, particularly if you toss it with rice or pasta to make a tasty salad.

New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Key West
posts: 26,962
reviews: 42
7. Re: Not travel but food question

I always associate carpacchio of beef with Paris since it was a Rose de France that I first enjoyed it. Beef sliced very then and served cold with a covering of olive oil.


Lawndale, California
posts: 657
reviews: 6
8. Re: Not travel but food question

If you're in Paris, stop by the Librairie Gourmande at 92 Rue Montmartre. Most of the staff speak English and can help you find appropriate cookbooks.

Oakville, Canada
posts: 2,618
reviews: 13
9. Re: Not travel but food question

There are also numerous recipes for cold soups, either vegetable based or fruit based which are very tasty.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Brisbane
posts: 5,300
reviews: 54
10. Re: Not travel but food question

Thanks everyone. Down here summer is heading towards us at lightspeed this year but we still need to eat even when it's 40dg. I am thinking of taking my fave BBQ recipes and giving them a French twist (whatever that means) Looks like a seafood Christmas again ala provencale.