In the land of foie gras and lardon, it’s difficult to find a vegetarian-friendly recipe let alone something that a vegan can eat. As one veggie friend said, “That’s the type of cuisine I try to avoid when choosing a restaurant.”
A couple years ago I stumbled across a Beet Bourguignon recipe by the fabulous husband/wife duo over at Green Kitchen Stories. Besides coming up with a great recipe title, they found a way to cultivate a hearty, umami flavor from the beets and mushrooms. It’s delish.
Ever since then, I’ve had my eye out for French-inspired vegan recipes. First, I found a healthier take on mashed potatoes on the Love and Lemons blog that combined the starchy goodness of potatoes with steamed cauliflower, roasted garlic, and vegan butter. Then, Kite Hill’s Chive Cream Cheese Style Spread popped up. With its creamy consistency (made from nuts not dairy) and flecks of chives, it’s a vegan doppelganger for France’s beloved Boursin cheese.
Once I found a faux gras recipe on David Lebovitz’s blog made of lentils and mushrooms, I knew the menu was complete and arranged a little luncheon with my vegan and vegetarian girlfriends. Remember, we live in California with all the hippies so rounding up a rather large group was fairly easy.
Château Poyanne Côtes De Bourg
A few tips to help things go smoothly: The Kite Hill cheese can be found at Whole Foods and you can pick up the Château Poyanne Côtes De Bourg at Trader Joe’s for $6.99. For a daytime event, I usually calculate a half bottle of wine per person. If you throw this party at night, you may estimate a bottle per person because…well…party time.
One thing I love about soups and stews is that they develop flavor overnight. So, cook the Beet Bourguinon the night before and it’ll ease up some of the cooking pressure the day of your dinner party. The faux gras can also be made ahead (up to four days before) so I suggest getting that baby out of the way early, too.
Final and last tip is on toasting zee bread. Slice bread and lay the pieces out on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Then, pat yourself on the back for being such an efficient bread toaster.