Vegetarian Cassoulet (Cassoulet De Legumes)
Though cassoulet is not usually a vegetarian dish, this variation on the classic is very good. For the white beans one can use flageolet, or cannellini or great northern beans. You can also cook the beans a day ahead of when you plan to make the cassoulet. The formation of the crust twice, with the first one mixed into the cassoulet, is well worth the extra 20 minutes it takes. As Julia Child would state, cassoulet is not a fast dish but a delicious one. This recipe was adapted from: "The Vegetarian Bistro", by Marlena Spieler.
- 2 cups dried white beans
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 potato, peeled and diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon herbes de provence, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, crushed
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Cook beans according to package directions; can be cooked in a pressure cooker or crockpot. Cook until tender but don't overcook.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Reserve 5 of the garlic cloves.
In a large heavy saute pan, over medium-high heat, saute the pepper, carrots, potato and remaining garlic cloves, in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until lightly browned, about 5 to 8 minutes.
In an earthenware (or corningware) casserole, layer the cooked drained beans, sauteed vegetables, diced tomatoes, herbes de Provence, thyme, red wine, and stock, sprinkling each layer with salt and pepper.
Cover casserole with a tight fitting lid and bake for about one hour.
Add more liquid if needed to keep the beans from burning.
Mince the reserved garlic cloves.
Combine minced garlic with the bread crumbs, minced parsley and 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Increase oven heat to 400 degrees F.
Remove casserole from the oven, remove lid and spread half of the crumb mixture over the top.
Return uncovered casserole to the oven and bake about 15 minutes, or until a golden crust has formed.
Break the crust and stir it into the cassoulet.
Repeat by spreading the remaining half of the crumb mixture over the top of the cassoulet.
Return uncovered dish to the oven and bake until the second and final crust has formed.