A Vegetarian in Paris, Part 2

Welcome to A Vegetarian in Paris Part 2! You might think if you’re traveling in France and trying to eat vegetarian, you have to limit yourself to salads but that’s not true. You can actually eat at the most gourmet restaurants if you want to.

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Now I know not everyone will want to spend money to eat at a super fancy restaurant, but I did that for my birthday recently, and what I found is I actually got some ideas for how to prepare vegetables beautifully, and how I can serve a few simple vegetable courses in a row to make a complete meal.

Vegetables really can stand alone, and be as beautiful as a painting.

Here are four beautiful veggie dishes I had on my birthday at a lovely restaurant called L’Arpege:

Here you can see “beet sushi”. It looks kind of like sushi but it’s actually a pickled beet instead of fish over a bite of rice and it’s delicious.

Next, you’ll see a purple cauliflower hummus (I love the color!) with some pesto on top.

Here is white asparagus with puréed broccoli sauce and I love this one because it’s so hearty—you can eat it with a knife and fork and it really feels like a main dish.

And finally I love this beautiful trio—you can see a little scoop of carrot puree, steamed spinach with just a touch of toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds, and a bit of candied lemon jam on the side.

So I know these dishes are pretty fancy and probably not something you’d actually try at home, but I wanted to share them with you because this meal re-inspired me about how beautiful vegetable-based dishes can be. And how a series of a few of them can stand head-to-head with the best meals out there.

P.S. A few people were asking what restaurants the dishes in my last email were from. So here they are: The salade de crudités and assiette de legumes were at Les Philosophes. The Salade Inca was at Le Pick-Clops. And the Couscous Végétarien was at Le Traiteur Marocain. All of these places are in Le Marais, the neighborhood I was staying in.

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