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what menu for cassoulet-centered dinner party?

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Friend and I are making our first stab at cassoulet. What would you serve along with this (10-12 people)? I would think that the rest would be quite simple, given the richness and heaviness of cassoulet. Thanks.

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  1. Traditionally, you don't serve anything with it, and I'd keep anything you serve with the aperitif very light and simple. A salad after would be nice, but not necessary. Think something fruity for dessert -- not cheeses.

    1. Since a cassoulet is a bit stew-like, I find a bit of bread goes well.

      I threw a "cassoulet party" and made fan-tan rolls - which were very visually appealing.
      (see http://www.recipetips.com/kitchen-tip...
      )But a more traditionally-French bread might be more "appropriate".

      Some wine, and a tarte tatin would go well!

      1. Well, wine.

        Cassoulet's one of the heaviest dishes in the French repertoire so you probably don't want to place too many items around your centrepiece. A Bordelais friend who learned to make cassoulet from his time in the pays Basque did host a cassoulet party, but it was something atypical as it was essentially a cassoulet vs garbure event.

        Served alongside: bread (though for garbure), charcuterie, salad, cheeses (only 9 varieties), dessert (stewed fruit), and (of course) lashings of wine.

        Apart from the wine, I'm in favor of salad and the tarte tatin. Everything else optional depending on how much of a caloric stupor you want to induce in your guests.

        1. Balance complex, warm and gooey with simple, cool and crisp: the salad should be simple - either plain green or a very simple slaw with a vinaigrette style dressing.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Karl S

            Beds.
            I have had a couple of Cassoulet parties and everyone needed to lie down afterward.
            Good bread and a nice salad. Keep it simple. Don't bother with dessert other than maybe some fresh fruit.
            Saveur.com has an INCREDIBLE recipe !

          2. Everyone else has said it, but yes, simple is better.

            I like this Salad with Walnuts, Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...
            Or perhaps Apple, Parmesan and Endive
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            If you wanted to do a small side, this Celeriac Remoulade is lovely.
            http://www.whitings-writings.com/reci...
            or this Pea Bouillabaisse
            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...