Lunch at your leisure

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We Americans take lunchtime for granted – often eating on the run or grabbing a quick bite before the next meeting.

In France, however, the midday meal is a time to relax, socialize and savor every last morsel. Luckily, you don’t have to live in Paris to enjoy lunch the French way…

· Eat, drink and be merry. Cliché, for sure. But that’s the objective of a delightfully long lunch. A typical French meal is a combination of relaxation, good conversation, friends and family.

· Lunch in general involves multiple courses designed in harmony. It’s not about excess or extravagance, but rather quality and portion control.

Of course, you can’t plan a proper French meal without inspired new recipes. That’s why we’ve taken an all-American classic – burgers! – and given them French twists with gourmet cheese, that are impossible to resist.

Exotic Lamb Burger with Herbed Brie

Lean and healthy lamb anchors this exotic take on the tradition burger with herbed brie, slivered Kalamata olives and hummus stuffed into a whole-grain pita.

French Chicken & Brie Picnic Sandwich

No time to fire up the grill? No problem. Made in advance, this picnic star features a juicy chicken breast topped with creamy brie and other pleasing players like tarragon, roasted red peppers and peppery arugula.

Double Brie Burger by Kathy Gunst

Packed with ooey-gooey goodness inside and out, this burger is bursting with nutty brie, first when added to the meat mixture, then when melted on top.

Jalapeño Chili Burger with Fol Epi

Can you take the heat? Fresh jalapeño peppers give this smoky burger its zing, while mild Fol Epi lessens the sting.

So turn the backyard into an international bistro: fire up your grill, pour your favorite brew and Bonne Fête!