I woke up this morning and remembered something: today is the National Day of France, which is also called Bastille Day. This day is always celebrated in my home country. Our culture is closely related to the French culture – so close that we are members of the International Organization of the Francophonie. I am really glad I remembered about Bastille Day. Better mark the occasion later in the day than not mark it at all!
In honor of Bastille Day, I decided to make a French-inspired lunch: a stuffed croissant.
I have yet to master the art of making croissants from scratch, and I was also missing several other ingredients, so I knew I had to go out and do a little bit of shopping. I went to a local store which sells a great variety of local and international products, and I was hopeful I would be able to get all of the ingredients for my croissant from this place. Sadly, they did not sell French sausage (“saucisson sec”). I wanted to go to other stores, but my time for shopping was very limited. In the end, I decided to use hard salami instead of saucisson sec for my “almost” French lunch. On a positive note, I was pleased I found Camembert, since this would have been much harder to substitute.
I came home hungry and exhausted due to the heat and the humidity outside. Thankfully, the croissant took minutes to put together, and I ate it for lunch – a very early lunch indeed 🙂
1 big croissant
4oz wheel of Camembert
2-4 slices hard salami (I ended up using only 2 slices, which I cut in half)
4 spinach leaves
2-3 small tomatoes, preferably of various colors
2 tsp French mustard (optional)
Cut the croissant in half lengthwise. Place the spinach leaves on the bottom half of the croissant. Slice the Camembert as thinly as you can – it will be tricky! – and distribute a few of the slices (I used 4) evenly on top of the spinach. Add the hard salami, then add another layer of sliced Camembert.
Put the loaded bottom of the croissant in the microwave for about 40 seconds, or until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Slice the tomatoes and place slices of various colors on top of the melted cheese. If you have any Camembert left, put it on the other half of the croissant and let it melt in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Take this half of the croissant out of the microwave – careful, it may be hot! – and put it on top of the loaded bottom of the croissant.
You can serve the croissant with French mustard on the side. Alternatively, use extra slices of tomatoes.
The combination of buttery croissant and melted cheese is certainly decadent. Thankfully, the tomatoes and the mustard (if used) cut through the richness of this dish and make it both multi-flavorful and less heavy than it would otherwise be. Pair this croissant with a fine bottle of French wine, and your French at-home light lunch experience will definitely be a memorable one.