ROOT VEGETABLE CASSOULET
Winter is a time for slowing down, reflecting, and conserving resources. This season is associated with the kidneys, bladder and adrenal glands. it’s the time of year when these organs are most active, accessible and even vulnerable. They’re more receptive to being restored and nurtured but can also become depleted (one reason why resting and recharging is so important!)foods like cauliflower, garlic, onions, red bell peppers and olive oil are recommended this time of year. not only do they add flavor to your seasonal celebrations, they’re also superfoods that are high in antioxidants and help fight free radicals.
Talk about a comfort food! This is the perfect compliment to any winter day. We can’t wait to hear what memories you create over this Root Vegetable Cassoulet from Executive Chef Josh Tomson!
- 2 cups rinsed cannelini beans, picked over and rinsed
- 3 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion, diced small
- 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- freshly ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes, 1 peeled, seeded, and diced small, the other cut in half
- 7 cups unsalted organic vegetable broth (Organic Better Than Boullion)
- 6 stalks celery, trimmed, and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, and cut into 3-inch lengths
- 2 large turnips, quartered
- 1 medium fennel bulb, quartered
- bouquet garni (3 sprigs Italian parsley, 2 sprigs sage, and 2 sprigs thyme, tied together with kitchen twine)
Ingredients for Crust
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh Italian parlsey, chopped
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
The night before, put the dried beans in a pot with enough cold water to cover them by at least an inch. Soak them overnight in the refrigerator, then rinse and drain.
Warm 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring, until the onion and garlic are tender but not colored. Stir in the tomato paste and, then add the diced tomato; pull the pan from the heat and set aside.
Put the beans in a large casserole dish. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Add the celery, carrots, turnips, fennel, split tomato, and the bouquet garni. Cut a parchment paper circle to fit inside the dish and press the paper gently against the ingredients. Lower the heat and cook, stirring now and then, until the beans are tender, about 1 hour. Season the casserole with salt and pepper shortly before the beans are cooked through. When the beans are done, pull the pot from the heat and remove and discard the bouquet garni and whatever is left of the tomato. Drain the liquid from the pot into a pitcher and keep close at hand. Gently transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
Spoon the beans into a baking dish and stir in the onion-tomato paste mixture along with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add enough of the reserved cooking liquid to just cover the beans. Top with the vegetables and moisten with more of the cooking liquid. Reserve the remaining liquid if you are going to reheat the cassoulet.
Directions for Crust
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400o F.
Toss together the bread crumbs, garlic, and parsley and stir in the melted butter. Spread the mixture evenly over the cassoulet and slide the casserole into the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are golden brown and crusty.