This is an extremely simplified and yet truly delicious version of the classic French darling. When the weather chills and the leaves start to blow across my yard, this is what my soul hungers for! The sweet earthy tones of the root vegetables play so perfectly with the creamy texture of the fennel scented beans and the savory flavor of the sausages. And by the way, try the caper-basil oil on all of your winter soups, pastas and braised dishes. It really sparks!
2 cups cubed root vegetables in any combination (see list below)
4 turkey or chicken Italian sausages, uncooked
3 or 4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 small leek, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups cooked white beans 9PCC sells excellent organic canned beans, or you an cook your own)
2 teaspoons fennel seed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
1 cup Muir Glen fire roasted chopped tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Hot Pepper sauce
Basil-Caper oil for garnish (recipe below)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the root veggies with a little olive oil and salt and place in a single layer on a baking sheet . Place the chicken and sausage on a separate baking sheet. Roast the veggies for 10-12 minutes until tender and the sausage and chicken for 20 minutes, or until just done through. Cool the meats slightly and cut into bite-sized chunks.
To prepare the Cassoulet:
In a large heavy pot, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and cook the garlic, leeks, fennel, thyme and sage for 1 or two minutes. Add the sausage and the chicken and cook until gently browned. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth and root vegetables. (I save a few of the roasted veggies for garnish). Cover and simmer gently for 12-15 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and hot sauce.. Serve in shallow bowls with the basil-caper oil drizzled over. Accompany with crusty country style bread.
Root Vegetable Medley: (Use in any combination)
Organic carrots, peeled and diced
Organic parsnips, diced
Organic turnips, peeled and diced
Organic rutabagas, peeled and diced
Organic golden beets, peeled and diced
Organic Jerusalem Artichokes, diced
Organic Yams, peeled and diced
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup Italian parsley, stems removed
2 tablespoons capers
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until smooth.
Recipe by Lynne Vea, PCC Natural Markets Chef