Please, pull up a bowl of cassoulet, put your feet up, and let’s girl chat.
Yes, even you in the back with the facial hair and the male genitalia! There’s always room for one more at the proverbial gossip table. And we don’t discriminate based on secondary sex characteristics.
…what’d you do this weekend?
Mmhmm? Yeah? Really? You don’t say?!?!?
Oh, me? Not much.
Just, you know…stood in a seriously crowded room full of women for three hours with The.Boy. waiting to meet a celebrity of epic proportions (in my world, at least). And did I mention that he did not complain, not even a little bit, not even for one second?
The room full of women and the free beer might have had something to do with that….
And then, at the end of this waiting, he even still had enough stamina to snap a gazillion pictures of me as I got my book signed and gushed for the next five hours about how adorably awesome Joy is.
I like a boy that can keep up. And I think he kinda sorta likes me too. Big smiles.
Big crazy action-packed weekends call for big crazy veggie-full bowls of stew.
And I know this recipe title says this is a cassoulet…but what does that even mean? Especially given that I took out all the things that make a cassoulet a cassoulet (duck confit? goose fat? yuck and yuck-ER) and replaced them with vegetarian sausage and every color of vegetable under the sun?
Many French are rolling in their graves because of me.
But if we’re being totally for real. This is a spring vegetable stew. And it tastes like home. Like comfort. Like cuddling.
Like that warm squishy heart-beating feeling you get when boys stand in line with you for three hours.
You should make it.
Also, remember to enter my GIVEAWAY! The deadline is Friday.
Serves 5, adapted from The Food Matters Cookbook
- 20 oz diced butternut squash
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 links Field Roast apple sage vegetarian sausage, casings removed and cut into coins
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 leeks, trimmed, well rinsed and sliced
- 2 carrots, cut into 1-inch lengths
- 2 zucchini, cut into half moons
- salt and black pepper
- 28 oz canned diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight and then boiled in salted water for ~1 hour or until tender
- pinch of cayenne
- Preheat oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread butternut squash on baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until fork-tender.
- In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the “sausage” coins and cook, turning as needed, until the pieces are deeply browned on all sides – 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic, leeks, carrots, and zucchini. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the canned tomatoes and their liquid, along with the reserved meat and the herbs. Bring to a boil. Add the beans and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat so that the mixture bubbles gently but continuously. Cook for about 20 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash into the mix. Simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring. taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve.