Rustic Bean Cassoulet with confit garlic and roasted aubergine

19 Jan

The idea for this recipe came from Lindsay at The Kitchen Operas. We have very similar taste in food so when she said that garlic confit was even better than roasted garlic I knew I had to try it out. She wasn’t wrong. The mellow, soft, sweetness of the garlic is a revelation and you also have a gorgeous garlic & herb infused olive oil to use for drizzling over salads, pasta dishes and bread. The possibilities are endless…..

Confit is a method of preserving and flavouring foods by submerging them in a substance, in this case olive oil…..

Garlic Confit Recipe

Recipe from The Kitchen Operas

  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the garlic cloves about 60 ml
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3 whole peppercorns
  • 1 sprig rosemary/thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Preheat the oven to 160C. Put all the ingredients in an ovenproof ramekin making sure all the garlic is submerged. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour until the garlic is tender. Leave to cool and store in a glass jar topping up with more olive oil, to cover, if necessary, then refrigerate.

Now you have deliciously soft, sweet cloves of garlic to do with what you will. I wanted to use mine straight away because they smelled so amazing. So I decided to go with Lindsay and attempt a Cassoulet. A cassoulet is a bean stew from the South of France generally made with pork sausage or bacon and duck confit. Having already replaced the duck confit with garlic confit (very clever Lindsay), I was wondering how you could replace the bacon/sausage. Aubergine takes on a smoky flavour when roasted and has that dense meaty texture required in this dish so that’s what I went with.  I roasted an aubergine & a red onion at the same time as confiting the garlic. I also saw a recipe for Shitake Bacon where you roast slices of Shitake mushrooms in olive oil, salt & pepper for about 45 minutes and they take on that salty, smoky flavour and crispy texture of the bacon. That would be a fantastic alternative and next time I get some Shitakes I’m definitely trying it.

Rustic Bean Cassoulet with confit garlic & roasted aubergine

Adapted from a Kitchen Operas recipe. Serves 3, vegetarian

  • 1 aubergine, cut into  1 or 2 cm dice
  • 1 red onion, peeled and cut into eighths, wedges
  • 2 or 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 2 leeks, cut in half lengthways, rinsed & sliced
  • 2 carrots, diced (I used 1/2 a large sweet potato because I had no carrots)
  • 2 stalks celery & leaves finely chopped
  •  6 confit garlic cloves (see recipe above)
  • 1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a splash of white/rose wine (optional)
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes 400 gr
  • 1/2 jar/tin 200 gr cooked red beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 jar/tin 400 gr cooked white beans, rinsed & drained (I only had 1/2 jar)
  • 450 ml (2 cups) veg stock
  • salt & black pepper

Put the cubed aubergine & red onion wedges on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper & chilli flakes and toss together with your hands to coat evenly. Roast in the oven with the confit garlic or roast at 200C for about 25- 3o minutes until lightly browned.

In a large pot, heat up 2 tbsp olive oil over a medium heat and add in the leeks, celery, carrots/sweet potato, whole confit garlic cloves, herbs and season well with salt & black pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally until softened and slightly golden. Add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan then add in the beans, tomatoes, roasted aubergine & red onion and the veg stock. Season again with salt, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, uncovered for about 20 – 25 minutes. Until the carrots/sweet potatoes are tender and the stew has thickened.

Serve in warmed bowls topped with garlic & rosemary toasted breadcrumbs and/or a slice of confit garlic bread….

Garlic & Rosemary Toasted Breadcrumbs

  • about 110 gr fresh breadcrumbs (the more rustic the better) I only had packet breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • a drizzle of the garlic infused oil from the confit garlic
  •  1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • sea salt & black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Toss the breadcrumbs with the rest of the ingredients until evenly combined and spread out on a piece of foil. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden & aromatic.Scatter the breadcrumbs over the top of  your cassoulet just before serving.

Confit Garlic Bread

  • some slices of rustic bread or baguette
  • 1 or 2 confit garlic cloves per slice (see recipe above)
  • some garlic infused olive oil from the confit garlic
  • some grated cheese (I used Manchego) not very French!

Preheat the grill to hot. Smash/smush 1 or 2 cloves of the confit garlic all over the bread, drizzle with a little of the oil and top with grated cheese. Put under the hot grill for a minute or so until the cheese is bubbling and the bread is golden.

Bon Appetit!

18 Responses to “Rustic Bean Cassoulet with confit garlic and roasted aubergine”

  1. Mateja @indulginglife January 19, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Now I’m drilling all over my keyboard! I’m not a vegetarian but veggies have a big roll in our diet on daily basis. I love all the ingredients you used and especially the garlic confit. I will definitely try this one. Thank you for sharing ^_^

    • foodblogandthedog January 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      Th garlic confit is a must. I’ve already used it all and am going to make some more tomorrow!

  2. tiffany January 19, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    What a great healthy recipe!

  3. thewonderingchef January 19, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    This sounds delicious, I looove garlic, and yes when its roasted its even better! I would just pretty much spread it over a piece of toast:)

  4. happywhennothungry January 19, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    This dish looks amazing! I love the garlic confit as well. Beautiful photos too 🙂

  5. Cakewhiz January 20, 2011 at 9:08 am #

    Wonderful photos! It was good to learn about garlic confit 🙂

  6. Medeja January 20, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

    I am afraid of garlic :)) I can eat it only when it doesnt taste like garlic :)))

    • foodblogandthedog January 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

      Strange! This way the flavour is really mild & sweet and in a dish like this it melts into the sauce so you don’t notice it, hopefully!

  7. latache January 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    very authentic recipe that are easy to replicate at home

  8. denise @ quickies on the dinnertable January 20, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Natalie – I’m not a vegetarian, though I do love my veggies and beans, but I have to say you post some of the most beautiful and seductive vegetarian food I’ve seen in the food blogosphere! That garlic confit is just begging to be made!!

  9. Lindsay January 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm #

    YUMMMMMMMMM. I think the eggplant is a GREAT add here — I found my version to be lacking in enough veggies!!! I’ve got to try yours out!!!! 😀

    • foodblogandthedog January 21, 2011 at 11:03 am #

      This post has been so popular, especially the garlic confit, thanks so much for the inspiration, I’m off to make some more today!! Had a spaghetti aglio olio last night with the confit garlic, garlic oil & chilli. So good!!

  10. canalcook January 21, 2011 at 2:42 am #

    Having recently gotten and oven, and having veggie friends I am always trying to find recipes for, I am pretty damn excited about this.

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