Cassoulet - Ruaraidh Bealby
Paprika Borlotti and Haricot Bean Cassoulet with Grilled Mediterranean Vegetables, Basil Veloute, and Mozzarella Bocconcini
The Brownlow Arms
Hough on the Hill
Yield: 8 appetizers or 4 sides (main course sides)
Time: 75 minutes
Season: Summer and Fall
Pairing: Dry white or rose wine
Summer is the time for fresh vegetables. At the same time, outdoors activities in the summer heat build up a healthy appetite. Here we are matching four different color and flavor sets that are all great in their own right. However, together they make a full, hearty summer and fall meal while being very healthy. For the carnivores, add grilled octopus, shellfish, or Italian sausages on the side.
1 can (15/16 oz or 424/454g) canned Borlotti also known as Fagioli beans (substitute with Pinto or Anasazi beans if you cannot find Borlotti)
1 can (15/16 oz or 424/454g) canned Haricot Beans (also known as navy bean, pearl haricot bean, Boston bean, white pea bean, or pea bean)
Or use dried beans and start prepping them the day before (put them under water)
3 tablespoons neutral oil, like canola
3 tablespoons (15 gram) Five Continent Spices’ Organic Paprika
2 teaspoon (2 gram) Five Continent Spices’ Organic Cayenne Pepper (1/3 tablespoon)
2 medium yellow onion
6 cloves garlic
1 small can (6 oz or 170g) tomato puree (12 tbsp or ¾ cup)
1 ½ cup (15 gram) chopped fresh basil (or 2 tbsp of Five Continent Spices’ Organic Basil)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 red pepper
2 yellow pepper
2 zucchini (courgette)
2 eggplant (aubergine)
2 red onion
2 bunch thyme (or 2 tbsp of Five Continent Spices’ Organic Thyme)
1 lbs (454g) spinach
2 whole bunch (200g) basil (or 12 tbsp Five Continent Spices’ Organic Basil)
3 cups (750 ml) Salty water (mix water with kosher or sea salt at a ratio 1 tbsp of salt for 4 cups of water)
8 oz (227g) plain mashed potato (instant is fine)
2 or 3 per plate (12-16) Fresh Mozzarella Bocconcini (young mozzarella, shaped in small balls, typically made of cow’s milk).
Heat the oil in a large pan and at medium heat, lightly fry the onions and garlic. Once soft and translucent, add the beans (drained from the brine), add the paprika and cayenne. Mix well until all beans are coated by oil, spices, onion, and garlic. Once well mixed, add the tomato puree and chopped basil, simmer on low heat for 30 minutes, Keep warm.
Slice the veg to 1/8 of an inch or 3 mm slices keeping them pretty rough and rustic. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and thyme leaves. Heat oil in a large pan on medium high heat. Add the vegetables, beginning with the eggplant, onion, bell pepper, add the zucchini after about 5 minutes, and cook until the veggies begin to soften (about 10 minutes total). For uniform softness, move the vegetables frequently.
While the cassoulet simmers and before you panfry the vegetables, bring the salty water to boil in a medium saucepan. Add the picked basil and spinach leaves, dip into the boiling water for 20 seconds. Drain the leaves (leave a bit of water on them), add to the blender together with the plain mashed potato. Blend for 5 minutes until uniform in color and texture. Pass through a fine sieve and keep warm.
When the dish is ready to be served, place the cassoulet on the plate first, stack the veg on top, ladle the veloute around the cassoulet, and garnish with the boccacini for a beautiful plate and sophisticated flavor addition.
Serve and enjoy!