Laura Calder's French Recipes for Summer

Add these lighter French recipes from Laura Calder to your summer recipe rotation.

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Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

Fresh Blueberry Tart

Celebrate summer’s bounty of blueberries by piling them into a flaky pastry crust. Want a quick cheat? Buy a frozen pastry shell and start with the filling.

Get the Recipe: Fresh Blueberry Tart

Shrimp and Zucchini Skewers

Marinate these simple skewers before guests arrive, allowing the flavors of the red pepper flakes and mint leaves to really develop. When you’re ready to dine, they’ll take just 10 minutes to grill.

Get the Recipe: Shrimp and Zucchini Skewers

Green Beans in Hazelnuts and Crème Fraiche

Bright, snappy green beans are a boon of the late-summer harvest, but it's the toasted hazelnuts, fresh herbs and a dash of crème fraiche that really bring these beans to life.

Get the Recipe: Green Beans in Hazelnuts and Creme Fraiche

Summer Tomato Soup With Basil and Croutons

A purèed mixture of tomatoes, seasonal vegetables, garlic and bread crumbs has just enough texture to be a satisfying meal, and when served chilled, it's perfect for cooling down on a hot summer day.

Get the Recipe: Summer Tomato Soup with Basil and Croutons

Almond Meringue Cake With Peaches

A light-as-air almond and meringue cake is perfect for summer, especially when layered with juicy peaches.

Get the Recipe: Almond Meringue Cake with Peaches

Basil Beef and Fingerlings With Olive Oil and Coarse Salt

The flavors of lemon and fresh basil lighten up beef, not normally considered summery fare. Laura Calder prefers to keep the meat rare, but you can pop it in the oven for 15 minutes for a more well-done finish.

Get the Recipe: Basil Beef and Fingerlings with Olive Oil and Coarse Salt

Buckwheat Crepes With Thyme Cream Tomatoes

Combine buckwheat crepes with juicy, buttery, thyme-kissed tomatoes, and you’ll practically feel like you’re eating in the garden.

Get the Recipe: Buckwheat Crepes with Thyme Cream Tomatoes

Shaved Vegetable Salad

As if vegetables needed lightening, this colorful selection of mandoline-sliced seasonal produce is perfect for hot-weather consumption. A simple olive oil and lemon dressing and fresh dill add just enough flavors without any weight.

Get the Recipe: Shaved Vegetable Salad

Hot Mussels

A golden herb butter and bread-crumb topping would certainly be enough to make these mussels melt in your mouth, but it’s the anise flavor from a licorice liqueur that makes them totally unique.

Get the Recipe: Hot Mussels

Better Than Citron Presse

Fresh mint and a syrup made from lemon peels give this classic French drink contrasting tang and freshness.

Get the Recipe: Better Than Citron Presse

Balsamic Chicken and Fig Brochettes

A pre-grilling balsamic-garlic marinade transforms chicken into perfectly caramelized bites. When threaded on skewers with sweet, seedy figs, this poultry dish will become your new favorite summer fare.

Get the Recipe: Balsamic Chicken and Fig Brochettes

Angel Cake With Blackberries and White Currants

Not to be confused with angel food cake, this dessert is just as light, but contains egg yolks, which give it an even richer flavor. It needs little more than a topping of blackberries (or any berries you can find at your local market) and a garnish of something creamy, such as ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraiche.

Get the Recipe: Angel Cake with Blackberries and White Currants

Brandade Cakes

These salted cod cakes are usually considered winter fare, but a topping of caramelized fresh peppers and tomatoes adds a rosy hue and fresh summer flavors.

Get the Recipe: Brandade Cakes with Caramelized Peppers and Tomatoes

Pea and Fava Salad

This vibrant salad packs unexpected punch thanks to barely cooked shallots and a couple slices of bacon.

Get the Recipe: Pea and Fava Salad

Monkfish in Herbes de Provence Marinade

To get a taste of Southern France in the summer, marinate monkfish in herbes de Provence, garlic, wine and olive oil, then skewer pieces with slices of lemon and grill.

Get the Recipe: Monkfish in Herbes de Provence Marinade

Vanilla and Raspberry Bombe Glacee

When you cut into this vanilla ice cream bombe, you’ll find a thick raspberry and liqueur center. Garnished with fresh raspberries, this icy treat will help you beat the heat.

Get the Recipe: Vanilla and Raspberry Bombe Glacee

Tarragon Potato Salad

For a French update on the quintessential summer side, mix potatoes with shallots, chives and tarragon, and dress with a mustard and oil mixture. No worrying about dairy spoilage here!

Get the Recipe: Tarragon Potato Salad

Lobster Stew

Though fresh-from-the-sea lobster is delicious simply boiled or grilled, it adds tremendous flavor to soups and stews. In this recipe, the crustacean shares center stage with tender green vegetables and red radishes.

Get the Recipe: Lobster Stew

Raspberry Tart

The addition of framboise to this tart’s creamy filling gives it an extra dose of raspberry flavor. Topped with the bright, ripe berries, it’s almost too beautiful to eat.

Get the Recipe: Raspberry Tart

Aubergine and Cumin Charlottes

This savory rendition of the domed French dessert calls for eggplant slices to be broiled and then stuffed with an eggplant, cumin and goat cheese mixture inside a ramekin.

Get the Recipe: Aubergine and Cumin Charlottes with Tomato and Coriander Salad

Rhubarb Water

Soak rhubarb stalks in boiled water overnight to extract their color and flavor. Mix the liquid with a little lemon juice and sugar, and your refreshing, pink drink will be ready.

Get the Recipe: Rhubarb Water

Pan-Fried Sea Bass

This restaurant-style dish gains color and flavor from bold red peppers and vibrant green broccoli. The broccoli purée serves as a lighter-than-mashed-potatoes bed for the fish, which can be grilled for an even healthier preparation.

Get the Recipe: Pan-Fried Sea Bass with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Broccoli Puree

Apricot Salad With Orange Flower Water and Pistachios

Orange blossom water adds subtle sweetness and floral notes to this stone fruit salad, which can be prepared in 10 minutes flat.

Get the Recipe: Apricot Salad with Orange Flower Water and Pistachios

Blackberry Millefeuille

Inspired by the forest, Laura prepares a dessert with earthy, natural flavors. The hazelnut and maple sugar-topped pastries are light and crispy after being baked and, with the encrusted nuts, resemble the forest "feuille," or leaves.

Get the Recipe: Blackberry Millefeuille

Simple Strawberry Ice Cream with Brandy Snaps

Though ice cream is the consummate summer treat, sometimes you're left feeling far too full after downing a cone. This purer version of ice cream is just heavy cream and berries—no egg yolks—so even though the strawberry flavor is quite strong, it's actually a bit lighter.

Get the Recipe: Jennifer Mclagan's Simple Strawberry Ice Cream with Brandy Snaps