Conde Nast Traveler

« Etiquette 101: The Tipping Guide | Main | Travel and Rest: The Ultimate Travel Pillow »

November 25, 2008

Cassoulet for Thanksgiving

Illustration: Klas Fahlen

by Julia Bainbridge

Unfortunately, my Thanksgiving will be a turkey-less one. My siblings are scattered around the country and  spending the holiday with their fiancées' families this year, so there just aren't enough people to pick apart a big bird--not to mention my grandparents can't bear the thought of basting their 90th annual turkey. So, I'm making cassoulet: Hearty, homey, earthy, I think the dish will do the Thanksgiving trick.

In the December issue of Condé Nast Traveler, G.Y. Dryansky writes: "With all that France has done to promulgate haute cuisine, it may be hard to believe that, in the annals of French soul food, the bean is deified. But there they are: beans taken to the level of the sublime in the dish called cassoulet." Dryansky goes on to explore which meat and--equally important--which beans people use in the famous cassoulet-making towns of Carcassonne, Castelnaudary, and Toulouse.

Most recipes you'll find in American cooking magazines use white kidney beans, like this one from Jacques Pépin. He skips the duck confit--something French blogger Clotilde Dusoulier calls the French paradox--and goes for sweet Italian sausage, kielbasa, and Canadian bacon.

If you want to skip the meat altogether, Gourmet's got a quick-and-easy vegetarian cassoulet. Not exactly the kind of thing Dryansky found in his research, but full of beans nonetheless.

I'm going to go with Étienne Rousselot's crusty version printed in Saveur magazine. And I better get started today--the owner of Hostellerie Étienne cooks it over two days.

Further reading:
* Check out the December issue of Condé Nast Traveler for Dryansky's article, "The Secret Life of Beans"
* Parisian Pumpkin: How to celebrate Thanksgiving in the City of Lights
* Catch of the Day: International noshables


click to post a comment >

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
Email: Daily updates



Featured in Alltop

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

EXPRESS SIGN-UP Sign up for one of our exciting panels and receive the latest news, travel offers, and event invitations from Condé Nast Traveler and our valued advertising partners.
Traveler Magazine




I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions