Girlfriend Meal Gatherings in France
Daily eating in France is an event—often a social event. That shouts “My Girlfriendships®” all day long, right ladies? The day typically starts with a light breakfast of Café au Lait or tea, with a buttered roll or croissant. Lunch is relaxed, sometimes lasting a couple of hours that could include a quick nap. In fact, stores close for at least an hour during the lunchtime in rural areas. Dinner is truly the main social event, often extending up to three hours with multiple courses.
Spending your girl’s weekend at a place with a kitchen? Ratatouille is a great recipe (and a cute movie). It’s typical French Provençal, and you can make use of the delicious, fresh produce found at outdoor markets.
Ingredients for 4 | Multiply by degree of hunger, divide by number of girlfriends!
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- Salt (for taste)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 large onion, sliced into rings
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
Preheat oven to 350º.
Coat bottom and sides of a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir garlic until lightly browned.
Mix in parsley and eggplant. Cook and stir until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes.
Season with salt to taste.
Spread eggplant mixture evenly across bottom of prepared casserole dish.
Spread zucchini in an even layer over top. Lightly salt and sprinkle with a little more cheese. Continue layering in this fashion, with onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, and tomatoes, covering each layer with a sprinkling of salt and cheese.
Bake in a preheated oven for 45 minutes. Serve as a side dish to your dinner or as a main course for your vegetarian meal.
Note: If there is an evening the girlfriend crew wants to stay in but no one wants to cook, consider having gourmet Chef Mathieu Ranchon as your personal chef. Chef Ranchon has prepared meals in various restaurants. From classic bistros to the famous kitchens of "Le palace" in Biarritz, from the seaside resort to the mountains during winters. When the pandemic closed many restaurants, Chef Ranchon decided to start his own business rather than stay home. He now travels the world as a personal chef. He will come to you and prepare a menu that you have chosen, or a "surprise" menu that he creates just for you. Here is his Facebook and Instagram.
Looking for a place to gather in either Paris or Marseille with your girlfriends? Here are a couple of great options:
- Brasserie Lipp | If you’re in Paris, Brasserie Lipp is worth your time. They serve typical brasserie cuisine in a beautiful, relaxed, laid back atmosphere. You’ll love the feel of the luxurious leather seating and the light from the ceiling’s chandeliers. Everything on the menu sounds delectable, but we especially like the Filet de Boeuf with Sauce Béarnaise along with a glass of Bordeaux Réserve Château Vieux Barrail. Here is their Facebook and Instagram.
Chez Zé | A family restaurant in Marseille since 1960, every menu item is a taste of Provence. So delicious and popular is this restaurant you’ll want to be sure to make reservations as soon as you get to Marseille—they are tough to get. Specials include cannelloni with Brousse au gratin over a wood fire.
Ready for dinner? My Girlfriendships crew is!
Recipe and photo sources: