Tuesday, March 16, 2021

One Pan Only: Quick Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

This is a sponsored post. While I was compensated monetarily by the Ontario Bean Growers, I've been a huge fan of all things bean related for a very long time. All opinions are mine.

I can't believe I'm writing this, but spring is right around the corner. Hooray! It has been a long winter, that much is true. Snow is still piled up in the front yard, but the birds have been chirping a happier tune, and so have I. My editor has sent me the interior pages of my second cookbook, and I've been scrolling through the final page proofs, checking for errors. It's quite the task, going over every detail, but it means that Vegetables: A Love Story is getting closer to becoming real and I can't wait for it! The pages are so very pretty and vibrant, and it's truly awesome seeing my photos and recipes (and stories!) come to life. I can't wait to share more with you soon! In the meantime, these busy days mean that simple and speedy suppers are what I need, and this quick version of cassoulet, bursting with tomatoes, sausages and white beans, is so very good. Plus I added kale, because greens are good! 

Beans, whether they're dried or canned, are always in my pantry. Having them there means that quick suppers like this are possible. I know the creamy white beans will not only add loads of nutrition to this dish, but they’ll also make this sausage and tomato bake more of a substantial meal which will ultimately be more satisfying. White beans are so versatile and nutritious, they're one of the best things to have stocked in the pantry. Protein-packed and high in fibre, beans can be used in all sorts of recipes for dips and spreads, stews and chili, salads and pasta, heck even smoothies and brownies! Ontario is a hub of bean production in Canada, with over 1200 farmers growing eight types of beans. Most of these (80-90%) will be exported around the world. Beans are super rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, and they're inexpensive to buy. While the world slowly reopens (hooray for the vaccine!), it's important to me that I continue to eat nutritious, delicious meals and watch the grocery budget. Beans check all of the boxes. And they taste so good! You can either cook your own navy or white kidney beans, or you can use canned. I have made this dish with both, and had rave reviews on each occasion. 

To get started, place some cherry tomatoes on the bottom of your favourite baking dish. Top with fresh sausages, cloves of garlic, and red onion. I used locally made Italian sausage, but you can use chorizo, or herb and garlic. A good glug of olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar will help the tomatoes make a delicious sauce, along with the fresh herbs. Bake until sausages are crispy and the tomatoes have burst their little skins. Stir in the white beans, remaining tomatoes, and kale. I add a little chicken broth to aid in the sauciness, because I know how good it will be when sopped up with some fresh bread. Fifteen minutes later, you have your very own ridiculously delicious cassoulet. It sounds all fancy and French, but it's basically beans and sausages. Comforting and delicious, it is a grand late-winter meal. Bonus points: just one pan to wash. 

Quick Sausage and White Bean Cassoulet

Cassoulet is traditionally a slow-cooked bean stew with several steps and a long ingredient list.  It's good to make if you have the time and inclination, but for those of us short on both, this quick version comes together in a snap. Delicious and nutritious, this is a great meal for busy weeknights, plus there's just one pan to wash. 

Makes: 4 Servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

5 cups cherry or grape tomatoes

4-6 Italian, chorizo or bratwurst sausages

4 large garlic cloves, smashed

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 cups cooked navy or white kidney beans OR 1 (19oz/540 mL) can navy or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups chopped kale, centre ribs removed

3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth 

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1. Preheat the oven to 425F.  

2. Scatter 4 1/2 cups tomatoes over the bottom of the baking dish (reserve about 1/2 cup to add later). Place the sausages, garlic, and onion over top. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with the rosemary and thyme sprigs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. 

4. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in beans, reserved 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, kale, and chicken broth. Return to the oven and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the kale is softened, tomatoes have burst, and sausages are crispy. Season with more salt and pepper, if needed. Garnish with chopped parsley. Spoon into bowls and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with crusty bread. 

1 comment:

  1. Beans just don't get the credit they deserve! I enjoyed reading this and, for the record, the pictures look so good it totally deserves to be called by its fancy French name!!


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