I'm giving you another hearty, warm and comforting fall dish today, people. And again, miraculously, it's vegetarian.
I think if you've browsed this blog at all you have gathered by now that I am not a vegetarian. Still, I try to eat a well-balanced and wholesome assortment of food, and the goal is to not eat too much meat. Both for environmental and for health reasons. This meal is a great example of how you can have a complex and filling dinner and not even notice the lack of meat.
Use whatever winter squash you like in this recipe - I used buttercup squash, but butternut, acorn, or pumpkin would be fabulous too. The squash, beans, roasted garlic and caramelized onions all have a lovely melty texture that goes wonderfully with the crisp bread crumb topping.
Winter Squash Cassoulet
adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Eat Well
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 14.5 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 small winter squash, 1-2 lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2" cubes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 slice whole wheat bread, processed into crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1. Preheat toaster oven (or oven, if you must) to 375. Cut garlic head in half crosswise and wrap the two halves together in foil. Bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Cool, then squeeze cloves from cut halves into a bowl, discarding papery skins. Set aside.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute, stirring often, until they soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and caramelized, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and preheat the oven to 375 (if you didn't already use the full sized oven in step 1).
3. Stir beans, squash, broth, thyme, salt, pepper, and reserved garlic in with the onions. Cover and bake until squash is tender, about 40 minutes. Mix bread crumbs with parmesan and remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil, and sprinkle evenly over the top. Return cassoulet to oven (uncovered) and bake until bread crumbs are browned, about 10 minutes.