Pack a Picnic with French Flair – New Day Northwest

Virginie on King 5 New Day – June 23rd 2015

The sun is out and in the Pacific Northwest we have some of the best hidden picnic spots. Virginie Paradis throws some international flare into the standard picnic by demonstrating some delicious french picnic recipes. Grab a basket, test out your culinary skills, and enjoy the sunshine!

Salade d’été aux lentilles 



Green French lentils (du Puy)

2 very thin carrots

10 cherry tomatoes

1 shallot

1 table spoon corn for color

Fresh Italian parsley


Ingredients for sauce

salt / black pepper

1 table spoon very strong mustard

4 tea spoons olive oil

3 tea spoons balsamic vinegar

Instructions for the dish

1- Fill up 1 glass tumbler with the lentils and rinse them in cold water. 

2- Cook them in a pan filled with cold water (4 times the volume of the lentils so 4 glass tumblers)

3- Add the carrots pealed and cut in thin slices

4- Cover the pan and boil for 25 minutes very low heat so that the water does not evaporate 

5- While the lentils are cooking, wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half

6- Peal and cut the shallot very finely 

7- Wash the parsley, cut it very finely too and keep a few whole pieces for the decoration of the dish when finished

8- Mix the lentils, carrots, cherry tomatoes, shallot. Add the sauce and for extra loveliness, add a little corn for color and whole parsley for decoration. 

Instructions for the sauce

1- Mix all the ingredients. My tip is to mix the lentils and the sauce at the last moment so that the lentils do not absorb the sauce and the dish can remain moist.

Pain de Thon 



500 grams canned tuna (in water NOT oil)

8 eggs

100 grams crème 

salt, black pepper, curry powder

Fresh Italian parsley

Fresh tarragon 


Ingredients for sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 shallot

Fresh thyme

salt, pepper

Instructions for the dish

1- Preheat the oven at 356 degrees F (180 degrees C)

2- In a big bowl, break 8 eggs

3- Open your cans of tuna and pad the tuna with kitchen roll to make sure you get all the water out

4- Crumble the tuna. My tip is to break little chunks of tuna and then roll in your hands as if you were making a little bowl. It is a very fast, easy, efficient way to crumble the tuna. It should make it all airy almost moussy / foamy. 

5- Mix the eggs and the tuna

6- Add the crème fraîche. My tip about finding it… I was told it didn’t exist here in the US but I have found it at my local organic coop 🙂

7- Cut a lot of parsley and tarragon very finely and add

8- Add very little salt. Black pepper and curry powder in bigger quantity

9- Mix everything together

10- Spray your loaf pan with the oil of your choice, canola is fine

11- Pour your mix in the pan and cook in the oven for 50 mins

Instructions for the sauce 

1- Cut the shallot very finely and place in a frying pan with olive oil

2- When the shallot is starting to become a little brown, add the can of diced tomatoes, fresh thyme, salt, and pepper

3- Cover and cook at low heat for 15 / 20 mins

4- Stop the heat and let the tomatoes cool down a little

5- Pour the tomatoes in a blender… et voilà!




200 grams unbleached all purpose flour

3 eggs

100 grams butter

150 grams sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 table spoon dark rhum

11 grams baking powder


1- Preheat the oven at 356 degrees F (180 degrees C) 

2- Mix the eggs, sugar, and salt

3- Add the melted butter, rhum, baking powder and mix every time you add a new ingredient

4- Add the flour last

My tip: let the batter rest for a while. My best madeleines come from a batter I prepare a night before! If you don’t have the time, 20 mins should be good.

5- Spray your madeleine pan with the oil of your choice, canola is fine

6- Place about one teaspoon full in each shape, less than a teaspoon for smaller, browner, crispier madeleines.

7- Cook in the over for 10 mins… bon appétit et bon pique-nique français!

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