Ah, this menu is one of those that comes together a lot faster than the “traditional” recipes for any classic French Cassoulet you will find out there. It still uses a lot of the components of the long simmered dish, but my version is easy to pull together on a weeknight. I don’t pretend to suggest that it is the same in any way—just a “shortcut” variation, and quite tasty if I do say so myself. Fresh sausages (I used Italian and Bratwurst), are roasted while the lentils are parboiled. Meanwhile, a mirepoix is prepared and stirred together with wine, beef stock, and a chopped fresh tomato to create a sauce. Afterwards, the lentils and sauce are combined with the sausages and the entire dish is topped with herbed-and-buttered breadcrumbs and heated in a hot oven. The slaw is a really nice accompaniment to the meal and can be prepared while the cassoulet bakes.

Cassoulet of Sausages and Lentils with grainy mustard
Red cabbage, onion, and apple slaw; rustic country bread
Dried figs and cookies