If you are a vegan like myself you will know all about beans and lentils and legumes…. not only how versatile they are, easy to prepare as most beans are available in tins and incredibly delicious and nutritious. The variation of taste from one bean to the next, or lentils for that matter, is blessedly vast and I feel so humbled to have so much available to us to eat to our heart’s content and more.
I actually die the cassoulet as an aside! What I really wanted and craved for dinner tonight was a big, fluffy, potato cake! Naughty, yes! but I do love potatoes and have no intention of feeling guilty about it either.
My take on potato cakes today was to add some cabbage and perhaps leeks at which point I realised what I really wanted were some colcannon patties! Yaaay, so it shall be. But what to serve with the patties…not baked beans from a tin – no didn’t fancy that. Enter the cassoulet! that rich, satisfying, French “peasant” food I would happily abdicate my throne for, if I had one!
Eventually, after much deliberation, I decided upon a two bean cassoulet with butternut squash. Borlotti beans were married with Cannellini beans simply because I love the sweet, creamy taste of Borlottis and had a hoard of tins in the cupboard. Butternut squash went in for sweetness and texture – don’t you just love the gorgeous colour of a squash? The orange of the flesh is like no other orange and orange is definitely not my favourite colour, and I am always hesitant as I pop butternut squash into the pan because it glows so perfectly on the chopping board….but needs must and in it goes! I tend to buy cheap red wine and then freeze if so often add a shot or two to my pot but this is optional so don’t rush out to buy wine specially. I believe in making use of what I have to hand and never rush out to buy any ingredient unless it is absolutely vital to the recipe. Enjoy ….by the way, here’s the recipe for the main course, Colcannon Patties!
Half medium sized butternut squash (about 500 grams) peeled & cut into large chunks
1 tin of white beans (cannellini beans)
1 tin of Borlotti beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon Herbes de Provence or mixed herbs
1 tablespoon Bragg Liquid Aminos or Tamari/soya sauce
50ml red wine – cooking wine is fine (optional – I used some because I had some frozen in the fridge!)
- Gently fry the onions and garlic until translucent
- Add all the ingredients and about 350 ml of water
- Cook on low for about 25 minutes until squash is cooked – check seasoning, you shouldn’t need more salt
- Check the consistency while it is cooking – you may need a little more water – just eyeball the gravy you want to end up with!
Note: Drizzle with parsley pesto before serving –optional but it does give it that extra buzz!
Blend together 1 cup of chopped flat leaf parsley, with 1 large clove garlic and 5 tablespoons olive oil