Monday, March 12, 2012

A Vegetarian French Country Supper

In honor of my third year of blogging, I made another cassoulet in reminiscence of my first post. This version was vegetarian--in fact the dinner I pulled together was mostly compiled by and neglected any meat. My guests hardly noticed!

I find it such a meditation and very satisfying to set a beautiful table--I was so happy with this one. The last few weeks had been hectic and as my schedule was calming down, I found relief and respite in blissful out of pocket time, some days in advance, to create an appropriate setting for a Vegetarian French Country Supper. It took about three wonderful, solitary hours of creation to figure out, as I sorted through our things and considered what was going to be served, while listening to the soundtrack I had arranged to score the evening for inspiration.

This menu I found online thrilled me, as I imagined a picnic somewhere in a secluded wood.

Waddling ducks and strutting roosters played their parts in the brass fixture and napkin pattern outfitting our bread warmer alongside a few bottles of sturdy red wine.

Other curious carved wooden birds flocked about!

Bodum glass canisters filled with herbs such as ground mustard and chives anchored the table as the centerpiece, with an old paint-by-numbers woodsy scene underneath. Footed bowls with flour and eggs added farm-felt rustic touches while the birds looked on.

Place settings furthered the woodland country feel, in green-and-white checkered picnic napkins with a pine cone on each plate, antique British silverware, and water glasses colorfully embossed with curly vines and flowers. Amber Patrician Depression glass plates made amiable companions amidst the thicket of tall wooden Scandinavian candle holders.

Individual zucchini, lemon and ricotta galettes became a singular time saving tart created from ready made crust. Golden and gorgeous, isn't it? We dug in with abandon and I at least made it without a lot of fuss.

Baguettes glazed with honey butter were perfect for dipping into the cassoulet...

And here we are after the addition of toasted bread crumbs on top of the main event, our cassoulet!

LinkI couldn't bear the thought of making the Milk-and-Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake suggested to finish out the menu--between the chocolate genoise cake and mousses it is practically an all day affair when tightrope walking across compromised counter space in a New York apartment. But it hardly felt like settling when it came to more quickly made Crepes Suzette from an issue of Food And Wine via master Jacques Pepin.

Behold the once flaming, now subdued Crepes Suzette resting in the hush of candlelight before the knives were quite bared to devour the dessert dappled with apricot jam, orange zest and butter!

Click here for the link to a Vegetarian French Country Supper from

Thank you for reading Evenings With Peter! Happy Anniversary and do enjoy!

Soundtrack: Duke Ellington: The Great London Concerts; A Table For Two; McCoy Tyner, Nights of Ballads & Blues; Lounge Jazz, HMV Collection; Dexter Gordon, Ballads.

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