The Ultimate Julia Child Recipe Collection

Julie Child Recipe for Reine de Saba

In the summer of 2012, Julia Child’s longtime publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, launched the JC100 Celebration in anticipation of what would have been Julia’s 100th birthday (August 15). As part of the campaign, they invited a group of food writers (myself included) to cook fifteen classic Julia Child recipes and then write about the experience.

Every Monday for the next four months we received a confidential email with that week’s assignment (usually excerpted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking), then rushed out to shop for ingredients before cooking and photographing the finished dish.

Later, we shared the meal with family and friends, and then every Thursday morning, with the rest of the world when we published our stories.

To this day, my JC100 posts continue to be some of the most popular posts ever published on The Culinary Travel Guide.

Remembering Julia

Many of us remember Julia Child as The French Chef but she was so much more than that. She was a pioneer, cookbook author, entertainer, wife, icon, adventurer, romantic, and inspiration – but above all, she was a teacher, and a natural at it, regardless of the medium.

Julia Child Portrait ©Lynn Gilbert, 1978
©Lynn Gilbert, 1978

She was always encouraging, gently reassuring, laugh out loud funny, and extremely passionate about her subject, and like all great teachers, she taught her students the why as well as the how of a culinary technique, empowering them to become better cooks.

I learned so much from her during the JC100 Celebration, and not all of it was about cookery.

I learned I love olives – so much so that I can’t imagine how I ever lived without them! And I learned that I don’t like eggplant, even in a classic French preparation like ratatouille.

During the months leading up to the JC100 event, I had started to suspect that I was more enamored with French culinary techniques than with French food. Cooking my way through the JC100 collection of Julia Child recipes helped confirm that suspicion.

Julia passed away on August 4, 2004, just before her 92nd birthday, but her legacy lives on through her remarkable French recipes.

13 of the Best Julia Child Recipes

Salade Niçoise

My first thought upon seeing this recipe was “thank goodness I just got my knives sharpened”. My second thought was “why on earth are we cooking with canned tuna?”

Turns out there’s a good reason…

Born in the village of Villeneuve-Loubet, the kind of chefs and chef of kings Auguste Escoffier was a Niçoise. He was also a very successful entrepreneur who just happened to have his hand in the canned food business. Being a clever fellow, he invented the Salade Niçoise to market his own products – and therein lies the reason a traditional Salade Niçoise always calls for canned tuna.

In The Way to Cook, Julia explains that:

“Being a great fan of potatoes, beans, eggs, and tomatoes in a salad, I naturally opt for the Escoffier ingredients, I am a great fan of his too, and he was a Niçoise, after all.”

Salade Nicoise

Get the recipe HERE.

Chocolate Mousse

When I was in Paris, I fell madly in love with a very charming Charlotte mold (similar to this one). I first spotted it, with its shiny heart-shaped handles, while shopping for souvenirs at E. Dehillerin. Unfortunately, there was no way it would fit in my suitcase.

The moment I saw this recipe, I wished I had made room for it.

If you don’t have a pretty mold, pour it into dessert dishes instead.

Chocolate Mousse

Get the recipe HERE.

Coq au Vin

Originally considered peasant food, farmers in France made this dish from an old rooster, marinated then slowly braised until very tender.

Julia Child’s wonderful version is from her classic cookbook, The Way to Cook, and consists of chicken in red wine with small braised onions, mushrooms, and lardons of pork.

It’s a hearty, satisfying dish. It’s also a great excuse to open a bottle of Pinot Noir that you may have tucked away for a rainy day.

Julia Child Recipes: Coq au Vin

Get the recipe HERE.

Leek and Potato Soup, Two Ways

Julia Child’s recipe for Leek and Potato Soup includes two variations. The first, vichyssoise, is served cold, while the second, Potage Parmentier is served hot.

Both recipes use the same basic ingredients and follow the same method, only differing in the quantity of cream and the type of simmering liquid.

Whichever version you’re in the mood for, you won’t be disappointed.

Leek and Potato Soup

Get the recipe HERE.

Sole Meunière

Meunière translates to miller’s wife in English and to make a dish à la meunière means to make one that is lightly floured and fried in butter.

Lots and lots of butter…

Rumor has it this is the dish that transformed Julia Child from a person who simply loved to eat into someone who loved to cook.

One could even argue that the culinary world is a better place because of Sole Meunière!

Sole Meuniere

Get the recipe HERE.

Roast Chicken

Few things smell as good as roasting chicken (although freshly baked bread and roasted garlic come very close). Shopkeepers in Paris know this. They roll huge rotisserie ovens right out to the sidewalk in front of their stores to entice passersby with the mouth-watering aroma. If the savory scent of roasting chicken doesn’t stop you in your tracks, the sight of their golden juices dripping over mountains of potatoes piled in the bottom of the oven most certainly will.

The key to Julia’s method for roast chicken is the attention you give the bird while it’s in the oven. The more you baste it the juicier it will be.

The perfect roast chicken should have flawlessly crisp golden skin and moist, tender meat.

Roast Chicken

Get the recipe HERE.

Chantilly Aux Framboises

The name may sound fancy but its really just a light, luscious, cloud of whipped cream flavored with sweet summer berries – and it is divine!

Pour it into a charlotte pan and unmold just before serving or keep it simple and pour the cream into a serving bowl or dessert cups.

Julie Child Recipes: Chantilly Aux Framboises

Get the recipe HERE.

Bouillabaisse

Bouillabaisse may be the most hotly debated dish in all of France. Every village along the Mediterranean coast seems to have its own version with no two recipes alike.

The Marseillaise Bouillabaisse Charter‘s sole purpose is to preserve the classic method of preparing this simple fisherman’s stew. Not only does the Charter specify the required ingredients for a traditional Marseille Bouillabaisse, but it also specifies the way the soup must be served (the fish must be cut up in front of the guests), and even what must be served with it (croùtes and rouille).

Bouillabaise

Get the recipe HERE.

Ratatouille

The eggplant, or aubergine, belongs to the group of fruits and vegetables known as nightshades. Although closely related to the tomato and potato, it’s actually classified as a berry. It’s also a distant cousin of tobacco.

Though eggplant becomes tender when cooked, the raw fruit has a bitter taste. Salting and rinsing it before cooking (a technique known as de-gorging) can help soften it and cut the bitterness.

Ratatouille

Get the recipe HERE.

Provençal Tomatoes

Make this simple side dish in summer when tomatoes are fresh and in season!

Tomatoes Provencal

Get the recipe HERE.

Cheese Soufflé

Soufflè au Fromage is a show stopper of a dish that practically demands to be served with a flourish!

In Julia’s own words,

“The souffle is undoubtedly the egg at its most magnificent, the egg in all its puffing power. How impressive is the chocolate or cheese soufflé, it’s head rising dramatically out of its dish, and swaying ever so slightly as it is borne to the table!

Cheese Souffle

Get the recipe HERE.

Coquilles Saint Jacques

With a fancy French name like Coquilles St. Jacques À La Provençale, you might expect this recipe to be complicated and fussy but it really isn’t. It took me less than 20 minutes start to finish – and it was worth every minute of it!

Coquilles Saint Jacques

Get the recipe HERE.

Boeuf Bourguignon

This deep, dark, delicious beef stew made with red wine, bacon, onions, and mushrooms really needs no introduction. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia includes the following preface:

As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a dinner party. Fortunately, you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated.

Classic Julia Child Recipes: Boeuf Bourguignon

Get the recipe HERE.

There you have it. Thirteen classic Julia Child recipes to help you master the art of French cooking at home. Bon Appetit!

Sooner or later the public will forget you; the memory of you will fade. What’s important are the individuals you’ve influenced along the way. ~ Julia Child

I think she may have underestimated her staying power.

Here’s to you, Julia!

Featured Image – Reine de Saba – Recipe

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