Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe: Vegetarian Cassoulet

I know, I know.  Vegetarian cassoulet is an oxymoron.  Cassoulet, after all, is famous for using duck confit & often an assortment of sausages.  My husband & I got a little cassoulet obsessed during our trip to Languedoc this year.  It gave us both heartburn, but it was fantastic.

But, to be honest, I'm not going to be making my own duck confit anytime soon nor am I even sure where to get it locally.  And, I don't have a few days to make one dish.  Thus, while this dish may not be authenic, it is delicious and replicates the flavors of the original.  It's a perfect fall or winter can serve by itself or with a salad and crusty bread.  And maybe some Blanquette wine if you can find it!

Ingredients (Serves 4)
Adapted from

6 scallions (all) or 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
4 medium carrots, finely diced
3 celery ribs, finely diced (I didn't put this in as I couldn't find any locally, but it would be a delicious addition) 4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, finely diced
8 oz mushrooms, finely diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 thyme sprigs
1 sprig rosemary
3 leaves of sage
1 small bunch of  parsley, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 c cooked cannellini or Great Northern beans (if using canned, rinse & drain)
3 c stock

1. Saute scallions/leeks, carrots, celery, tomatoes and garlic in oil with herb sprigs, bay leaf, sage, rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes.  Next, add in mushrooms and cook until tender, another 7 or so minutes.

2. Add in beans, then water, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

3. With a potato masher or back of wooden spoon, mash beans a bit to thicken cassoulet.  Remove sage and bay leaves as well as rosemary and thyme sprigs.  Stir in chopped parsley.

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