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WorldVegan Saturday: F is for France

Le dîner often consists of three courses, hors d'œuvre, plat principal, and a cheese course or dessert, sometimes a salad is offered before the cheese or dessert. Yogurt may replace the cheese course, while a simple dessert would be fresh fruit. The meal is often accompanied by bread, wine and mineral water.

hors d'œuvre: Soupe au Pistou
3 quarts vegetable broth
2 cups water

2 cups fresh green beans - rinsed, trimmed, and snapped into bite-size pieces

4 zucchini, cut into small cubes

3 carrots, cut into bite size pieces

4 potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces

1 bunch basil, leaves picked from stems
10 cloves garlic, minced

3 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes
8 oz fusilli
  1. Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the green beans, zucchini, carrots, and potatoes. Return to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the pistou by processing the basil leaves, garlic, tomatoes, olive oil, and salt together in a food processor until finely chopped; set aside.
  3. Stir the kidney beans, white beans, canned diced tomatoes, and spaghetti into the soup and return to a simmer. Cook until the spaghetti is tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the pistou.

plat principal: Exotic Mushroom Pate with Tarragon
3 leeks, white part only
3 large cloves of garlic
2 shallots
1 tbs olive oil
About 3 lbs exotic mushrooms, I used a mixture of Oyster and Shitake (chopped)
Fresh Tarragon
1 tbs whole grain mustard
1 tbs vegan sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste

crusty french bread
thinly sliced red onion
  1. Slice the ends of off the leeks leaving only the white part. With the stem end intact slice each leek in half vertically and rinse them very well under running water, fanning out the layers to be sure to remove any grit. You can also let them soak in the water filled sink for a while to be sure they have not grit left in the layers.
  2. Put olive oil in a pan large enough to hold everything and heat.
  3. Put the leeks, garlic and shallots in the food processor and pulse to fine dice. Add to the pan and sauté while you do the rest.
  4. Put the mushrooms in the food processor and pulse to fine dice, add to the pan with the leek mixture. Cook down until the moisture from the mushrooms is released and almost evaporated. It should be a thick and dry. Add chopped fresh tarragon to your taste, I like it quite heavy. Stir in mustard and sour cream, salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat, put in a container and let it come to room temperature.
  5. Serve with crusty French bread, thinly sliced red onion, cornichon (we used midget dills and sweet gherkins) and arugula. I like to toss the arugula with a touch of olive oil and salt and pepper before serving.


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