Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu

Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu

Traditional pot-au-feu is like the French version of pot roast.  Take a long-cooking cut of meat and some root vegetables and braise them until tender.

In Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu, Dorie Greenspan puts a lightened-up, almost-vegetarian twist on pot-au-feu.  While she calls it “warm-weather”, I’m not sure this piping-hot dish would be a good choice at the peak of summer heat.  But it was a very nice choice for our cooler-than-usual Spring.

A Bushel of Veggies

A bushel of Spring vegetables goes into this dish:  onion, leek, new potatoes, slender carrots, asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, and spinach.  I stuck with the recommended veggies, but you could easily substitute whatever is freshest when you make this dish.  I can easily see this as a dish to showcase freshly picked vegetables from a home garden.

Dorie recommends using a “spring” or “Texas” onion.  I could not find either, so I asked someone at my Whole Foods.  He led me to something called a Balakian Red Onion, which he described as a cross between a spring onion and a sweet onion.  It was perfect!

Balakian Red Onion

The finishing touch to Vegetable Pot-au-Feu is an herb coulis.  This is basically an herb pesto without the nuts, cheese or garlic; just minced herbs and olive oil.  I used fresh basil to make a basil coulis, which was drizzled over the top.  The coulis really made the dish special!

Basil Coulis

Remember a couple of weeks ago when we discussed my dislike of runny egg yolks?  Well, this dish is topped-off with a poached egg with a runny yolk.  The egg is to be cut into immediately after serving so the yolk can run into the broth.  I decided to be brave and serve my eggs as intended; I can handle a yolk that disappears into and becomes one with the broth.

Pot-au-Feu with Broken Yolk

Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu was met with mixed reviews in my household.  My husband liked the flavors well enough, but he didn’t like the big chunks of vegetables in what he considered to be a soup.  He felt it was too much work to eat.  Serving this in shallower bowls probably would have helped, but not completely.  I really enjoyed eating this, but I had no such “soup” expectations.  While I liked the flavors, I’m not sure this will be a regular at our house.  That said, it is a great way to highlight Spring’s vegetables.

Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu is this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Warm-Weather Vegetable Pot-au-Feu

  1. Yeah for adding the egg, Karen! 🙂 Your pot-au-feu looks delicious! I am going to look for that Balakian red onion at Whole Foods here as I am curious to how it tastes. I chopped up my vegetables because I don’t like to eat them whole in soup, so I completely understand how it affected your husband’s taste for this. Didn’t you just love the basil coulis?!

    • Karen

      We had more of the Balakian red onion raw in a salad and it was really good! Milder tasting than a standard red onion. Perhaps if I make this again I will have to chop up the veggies too.

  2. nana

    I think your dish looks delicious. I, too, am interested in that Balakian red onion. Hubby and I both enjoyed the soup, but looking at your basil
    coulis, I’m sorry I did not try to make that. I loved the poached egg
    topping it off. Tricia didn’t care for the dish because of the various
    veggies, but her family loved it.

  3. Glad you went with the poached egg – it really does make the dish, and I agree the coulis really adds a nice touch!

  4. That onion is gorgeous! I agree that the coulis added a lot to the dish. It was one of my favorite parts.

  5. You had really nice lighting for taking your pictures. It looks lovely!

  6. I’ve been away and missed two weeks of Dorie. Your Pot au feu looks wonderful. I’m looking forward to trying it.

  7. What a gorgeous bowl of soup, Karen! I definitely won’t forget the coulis next time – it looks amazing! 🙂

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