The Food Matters Project: Wild Boar Sausage Cassoulet and Lots of Vegetables
Here we are at week nine of the Food Matters Project, the brainchild of Sarah of 20somethingcupcakes and Kate from Cookie + Kate. Each week we all - here's the 'we' and we've grown to just over four dozen fellow foodie bloggers - cook the same recipe, from Mark Bittman's The Food Matters Cookbook, posting our interpretations and adaptations.
This week Keely of KeelyMarie assigned us Mark's Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables. Here's her post. And click here to see what all the creative cookers whipped up; look in the comments section.
I have to be honest: I have never made a cassoulet and I wasn't feeling very enthusiastic about this dish. Call it culinary lethargy. Then a friend walked into my office this afternoon with a pack of wild boar sausages. I love being friends with hunters! I was now officially inspired.
I started with my High ground Organics CSA box goodies: 1 celery root, 3 parsnips, 4 carrots, and 2 leeks. Then I added minced garlic, 5 celery ribs, 1 sweet potato, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, 2 C fresh grape tomatoes, 4 bay leaves, chard, Pete's piggy sausages, and some leftover champagne - and orange juice! - from our mimosas yesterday. Dinner!
And this isn't a true cassoulet since I cooked it in a large pot, not a casserole dish. I also skipped the white beans. Oh, well.
In a large pot, with a splash of olive oil, brown the leeks and garlic until they begin to soften. Add the sausages, celery root, celery, carrots, sweet potato, and parsnips. Cook until the vegetables are softened and the sausages are firm to the touch. Add the champagne, orange juice, tomatoes, thinly sliced chard, bay leaves, fresh thyme leaves, and fresh rosemary. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Season with smoked sea salt and paprika.
To serve, I removed the sausages from the pot, sliced them into bite-sized pieces, and placed them in the bottom of the individual serving bowls. I ladled the vegetables and broth over the sausage.
Then I topped it with a crostini - day-old ciabatta bread, rubbed with fresh garlic, sprinkled with freshly grated pradera cheese, and baked until the bread is slightly toasted and the cheese melted.
Thanks for the choice, Keely. My pick - fish in a rhubarb sauce - is up next week. Keep your fingers crossed that I can actually locate rhubarb this week! Argh, I have had no luck so far, despite checking every market and three farmers' markets last week. But I still have a few days.
And I wanted to feature some of the other creative takes on this dish.
Photo credit belongs to each blogger - links provided.