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This is a simplified version of the classic French dish Cassoulet (without all the meat). It can be eaten as an accompaniment or as a vegetarian main course.
- 240g flageolet beans (dried)
- 60g shallot (2) or onion (½)
- 50g carrot (1)
- 500ml chicken or vegetable stock
- 300ml water
- 1 small bunch of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 150ml whipping cream or double cream
- 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
- For the candied tomatoes:
- 270g tomato (3)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 teaspoon of chopped thyme
- 1 teaspoon of chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preparation Time: (beans) (12 hours soaking) + 5 minutes
Preparation Time: (tomatoes): 15 minutes
Cooking Time: (beans) 50 minutes
Cooking Time: (tomatoes) 2 hours
- Put the beans into a bowl and cover them with cold water. Soak them for 12 hours before draining off the water.
- Peel the shallot and carrot and chop each in half.
- Put the beans, shallot or onion, carrot, bunch of thyme, bay leaf, stock and the water into a large pan and bring the liquid to the boil. Turn the heat down to a simmer and cook them for 50 minutes before removing them from the heat (the beans will have absorbed most of the liquid by this point).
- Preheat the oven to 140°c.
- Peel and crush the garlic, finely chop the herbs and mix them with the oil.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters, remove the seeds and cut off the skin.
- Put the tomato "petals" onto a piece of greaseproof paper on a baking tray and paint on the oil-herb-garlic mixture.
- Put the tray into the oven for 2 hours.
- Remove the tomato from the oven, allow it to cool slightly so it can be handled and then finely slice it (a julienne).
- Pour the beans into a sieve over a bowl, remove the carrot, shallot and herbs from the beans and return the beans to the original pan with 4 tablespoons of the liquor.
- Put the pan onto the heat, pour in 100ml of the cream, bring it to the boil and cook it until it has reduced by half. Then add the remaining 50ml of the cream, stir in tomatoes and parsley and serve.
Make the candied tomatoes:
- Sun dried, sun blushed or even normal tomatoes can be used instead of candied tomatoes. In fact, anything you like could be put into this dish with the beans.
- Candied tomatoes have very little to do with candy. Nothing, in fact.