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White Bean Cassoulet with Spinach Pesto

Living plant-based means becoming very comfortable cooking with beans and legumes. During my weeknight dinners, if I’m not making tempeh a part of my meal I am most likely using some variety of bean or lentil. After many years of eating this way, I’ve become accustomed to having my beans on the daily – for those of you who aren’t, this is a great recipe to work into your routine. The flavors are delicious and this recipe is easily adjustable – you can add diced tomatoes for a different flavor (keep everything else the same, but add tomatoes in place of broth). You can also pick and choose additional vegetables to add – zucchini makes a nice addition. I love the pop of flavor the spinach pesto adds at the end and stir my pesto into my cassoulet for a stunning green color and fresh, bright flavor.

White Bean Cassoulet with Spinach Pesto

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:
2 T. olive oil
sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 cup shallots, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 T. fresh chopped herbs, I use combo of thyme, marjoram, and rosemary
1 cup white cooking wine (like an inexpensive chardonnay)
3 cups cooked cannellini beans (I love homemade cooked beans, but you can use canned)
2 cups organic chicken bone broth or vegetable broth
1 cup farro or buckwheat, cooked
Fold in fresh greens: chopped parsley, kale, or spinach
Spinach Pesto:
2 cups spinach
1 clove garlic
½ cup vegan parmesan (or you could use real parmesan) cheese
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Handful almonds
1 T. lemon juice
sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium stockpot on medium high heat. Add garlic, shallots, carrot, celery and herbs with a generous pinch of sea salt and sauté until onions and veggies are tender.

Add white wine and cook off for about 4 minutes.

Add cooked cannellini beans along with the chicken or vegetable stock and allow to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

While the pot simmers, make your spinach pesto by adding all ingredients into a blender and blending until smooth. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking

Just before serving, fold in additional greens and cooked farro or buckwheat to your cassoulet. I like to add fresh chopped parsley. Finish with generous dollop of spinach pesto. I served tossed with farro or barley and blistered tomato salad, but this is great on it’s own or over polenta as well.

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