Cassoulet (bean stews with herbs) ingredients vary widely all over France. This is a mediterranean version. I made this with 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs and 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and was quite pleased with the outcome! I've changed instructions to accomodate canned chick peas instead of dried. Beans, sauce and topping are made separately but concurrently before being combined at the end. From Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean.
- 2 (15 ounce) cans chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved, and rinsed
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 small onion, peeled but left whole
- 1 cup cubed carrot
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 sprigs fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (or to taste)
- 6 plum tomatoes, chopped or 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 cups tomato sauce, mediterranean (purchased or homemade)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
Put chick peas in large pot and add water to cover. Stick cloves in whole onion and add to pot along with carrots, garlic and parsley sprigs.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Drain and discard the onion with cloves and parsley sprigs. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the fresh tomatoes. Add tomato sauce, 1 1/2 cups of reserved bean liquid, lemon juice, sugar, basil and thyme. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
In medium skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Add 1 cup of the bread crumbs and fresh parsley and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute.
Remove pan from heat, transfer to a bowl and mix in remaining 1 cup of bread crumbs. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Combine beans and sauce in deep oven-proof casserole or baking dish.
Sprinkle 1/3 of bread crumb mixture on top and bake for 15 minutes.
Push bread crumb layer down into beans with back of spoon and sprinkle with 1/3 of bread crumb mixture and bake for 15 minutes.
Repeat with last 1/3 of bread crumb mixture, and bake for 10 minutes.
Finally, place cassoulet under broiler for 5 minutes or until lightly browned on top. Serve immediately.