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Sometimes the idea of French cuisine can be a little intimidating but with help from the experts, you can introduce French cuisine to your home.

Award-winning chef Daniel Boulud shares his tips and recipes on delectable appetizers that you can make easily right from home.



Makes one pizza

What is Pissaladière you ask? Well, it’s a version of the ever-popular Margherita pizza with a thicker dough. Pissaladière is originally from Nice in Southern France and consists of toppings such as caramelized onions, black olives and anchovies.


For the pizza dough

  • 120 grams of water
  • 325 grams of bread flour
  • 5 grams of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 grams of salt
  • 1 gram of sugar

For the garnish

  1. 30 grams of extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 500 grams of yellow onions, thinly sliced
  3. 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  4. 1 bouquet of garni (2 sprigs of thyme and bay leaf, ¼ of a dried fennel stick tied with a kitchen string)
  5. 10 anchovy fillets, spilt in half-length wise
  6. 50 grams of Nicoise olives, pitted and halved length wise
  7. 2 grams of thyme, chopped just before
  8. Salt and espelette pepper


For the pizza dough

  1. Dissolve the fresh yeast into the lukewarm water and let it rest for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile combine the flour, salt and sugar.
  2. Add the olive oil to the water and then mix in the dry ingredients.
  3. Knead until smooth, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Use just enough olive oil to lightly coat the surface of the dough and place in a bowl.
  5. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it rest at room temperature for one hour, and then store in the refrigerator overnight.

For the pissaladiere

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over low heat.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, bouquet garni, and season with salt and pepper. Stirring often, carefully cook the onions for about 20 minutes, or until they are very soft, somewhat dry, but not colored.
  3. Discard the bouquet garni, and reserve the onions.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and punch it down.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a 30-cm circle that is about 1 cm thick.
  6. Using a cake tester, or a dough docker generously dock the dough so that it rises evenly during the baking process.
  7. Spread a thick layer of the cooked onions over the dough and handsomely arrange the anchovies, and olives on top.
  8. Sprinkle the pissaladière with a light dusting of chopped thyme, espelette pepper, and salt.
  9. Bake in a 500°F (260°C) oven for about 20 minutes and serve immediately.


Serves 8 appetizers

Crique Stephanioise or Smoked Salmon with Latkes is a classic in French cuisine. Cold salmon on the warm latke also makes it a nice summer treat that isn’t too heavy. The best part about this appetizer is; you can make this the day before and reheat it before serving!


For the salmon and garnish

  • 8 slices of smoked salmon
  • 30 grams of crème fraîche
  • 1 gram of chives, finely chopped
  • ½ a lemon, squeezed

For the potato latkes

  • 680 grams of Idaho potatoes, pooled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 grams of parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 gram of chives, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil or clarified butter, plus extra for preparing the molds
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Mix together the onion, and potato and squeeze them between your hands to remove and drain the excess water.
  2. Put the potato and onion in a medium bowl add the egg, chopped herbs, salt, and pepper then toss well to combine.
  3. Place four 3½” x ¾” ring molds on four 4” squares of aluminum foil./li>
  4. Lightly brush the aluminum foil and the insides of the molds with olive oil.
  5. Squeeze out the potato mixture between your hands once again and then press a ¼” thick latke into each mold.  (* While ring molds are not necessary to make latkes, they do insure a uniform round shape and a clean edge free of burnt stragglers.  If not using ring molds, simply form round 3½ x ¼” thick latkes by hand.)
  6. Warm 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat.
  7. When the oil is hot, slip the latkes and their rings off the aluminum foil and into the pan.  Brown for 5 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the exterior is crisp and golden brown and the interior is tender to a knife.
  8. Remove the rings and reserve the latkes aside warm.  Repeat using the remaining olive oil and potato mixture.
  9. Sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.
  10. To serve:  Arrange the latkes on 8 plates and top each with one slice of smoked salmon, crème fraîche, a sprinkle of chives, and a squeeze of the lemon juice.


Radis Au Beurre are very seasonal but enjoyed in homes all over France. Essentially this fancy appetizer consists of radishes dipped in melted whipped butter to create a glaze and then sprinkled with parsley, chives and black pepper. Although it’s an easy dish, its sure to amaze the taste buds of your family and friends.


  • 25 breakfast radishes with the greens, washed and dried
  • 300 grams of butter, at room temperature
  • 10 grams of chives, thinly sliced
  • 10 grams of parsley, washed and chopped
  • Black salt


  1. Take the clean and dried radishes and cut the bottoms just enough so that the radish will stand up straight.
  2. Trim the greens to the desired length.
  3. Using a stand mixer, whip the butter until it is light and fluffy.
  4. In a sauce pot gently melt the whipped butter, constantly stirring with a whisk.  Be very careful not to let the butter separate.
  5. Once the butter is at the right consistency and temperature, take each radish and dip them one by one in the butter so that it creates a nice glaze and then stand them up right on a plate.
  6. Sprinkle each with the chives, parsley, and black salt. Serve immediately or store and enjoy later./li>


Serves 25-30 gougeres

Gougére is a baked savoury choux pastry made of choux dough and mixed cheese such as Parmesan, Asiago, or Manchego. Gougére is always a crowd pleaser and can be made ahead of time, just bake the day of your dinner party or event.


  • 280 grams of milk
  • 280 grams of water
  • 120 grams of unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 14 grams of salt
  • 300 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten for egg wash, reserve
  • 100 grams of shredded comté cheese
  • Fleur de sel and espelette pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, water, butter and salt; and bring to a boil.
  3. As soon as the mixture boils add the flour all at once and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.
  4. Reduce the heat to very low and cook the gougére dough, stirring and scraping the bottom constantly, until the dough pulls away from the side of the pan, about 6 minutes.
  5. Place the dough into a small mixer and allow it to cool for about two minutes.
  6. Using the paddle attachment add the eggs one at a time, until they are all incorporated.
  7. Scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl one time, and then continue mixing the gougére dough for another 30 seconds.
  8. Using a pastry bag or spoon, scoop about 3 tbsp of dough onto the baking sheets, 2 inches apart.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush the egg wash on each gougére and then sprinkle them with cheese, fleur de sel and espelette pepper. Bake the gougéres for 15 minutes.
  10. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (162°C) and bake for 30 minutes longer, rotating the baking sheets halfway through to ensure that the the gougéres are puffed and golden browned.
  11. Turn off the oven, propping the door ajar.>
  12. Let the gougéres rest in the oven for about 30 minutes longer, until crisp on the outside but still steamy within. 
  13. Serve warm or at room temperature./li>