Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Vegan Cassoulet with Garlic Confit

Our January 2011 Challenge comes from Jenni of The Gingered Whisk and Lisa from Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. They have challenged the Daring Cooks to learn how to make a confit and use it within the traditional French dish of Cassoulet. They have chosen a traditional recipe from Anthony Bourdain and Michael Ruhlman.


Well now, authentic French cassoulet (a winter stew named for the pot it’s traditionally cooked in) is definitely not known for being veggie-friendly, so I decided to up the flavour on my vegan cassoulet with garlic confit (slow-cooked garlic in olive oil, yumm).

If you don’t have the time to make a garlic confit, not to worry, just pop in 4 whole cloves of raw garlic instead of the garlic confit.  It won’t have as mellow a sweet-garlic flavour, but will still be lovely and garlicky!



Apparently cassoulet is supposed to be 70% white beans, so that much is veggie-happy… but I must say that it was rather tricky to cook a vegetarian version of something I’ve never eaten before that is usually laden with multiple meats!  Usually I have some kind of framework for dishes I’m recreating in the kitchen, but this was brand new, so it was total guesswork for me!

Luckily this was a great recipe.  Beans, leeks, yum.  And I have to say that this one tastes better the next day.  Especially with the garlic breadcrumbs.  I served this to two omnivore guys this week, and they loved the cassoulet and raved about the garlic breadcrumbs!  Success!


Garlic Confit
Adapted from Garlic Confit from Saveur, Issue #129

  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 20 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 dried bay leaf

Preheat oven to 300F.

Place all ingredients in a ramekin, making sure all the garlic is submerged in the oil.


Cover the ramekin with aluminum foil, and bake at 300F for 60 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown and tender.  Set aside to cool.

Transfer the garlic mixture to a glass jar, adding extra oil if you need to cover the garlic confit. Cover the jar and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.


Vegetarian/Vegan Cassoulet
Vegetarian Cassoulet by Gourmet Magazine, March 2008

  • 3 leeks (white and pale green parts only), sliced, washed well, and patted dry
  • 4 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-wide (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-wide (2.5 cm) pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves of garlic confit (see recipe above)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 3 (19-oz/540 gm) cans white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 c. water
  • 4 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large pot, combine leeks, carrots, celery, garlic confit, oil, herb sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, and salt & pepper.  Over medium heat, cook the veggies for about 15 minutes, until softened and golden.


Add in the beans and water, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are tender but not falling apart.
To prepare the garlic breadcrumbs (while the beans are simmering): toss the bread crumbs with oil, garlic, and salt & pepper (to taste) in a bowl until everything is well-combined.  Spread the crumbs over a baking pan lined with aluminum foil, and toast in the 350F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until they are crisp and golden. Let the crumbs cool in the pan, then return to the bowl and stir in parsley.

Once the beans have simmered, discard the herb sprigs, bay leaf, and cloves. Mash some of the beans directly in the pot with a potato masher or back of a spoon to thicken up the broth a bit.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Just before serving, sprinkle with garlic crumbs.


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Categories: Main Course, Vegan, Vegetarian


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7 Comments on “Daring Cooks’ Challenge: Vegan Cassoulet with Garlic Confit”

  1. January 18, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    That garlic confit sounds amazing! Never had it, can’t wait to try. Got a feeling it might be in everything from now on!!

    • January 18, 2011 at 9:45 am #

      You will LOVE it! It’s like roasted garlic but even yummier. And then you have garlic-infused oil too!

  2. January 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    That looks really amazing-all but the garlic in the jar… that looks like a science experiment.

  3. January 19, 2011 at 5:12 am #

    I made the confit garlic yesterday and it is amazing! I went ahead and cooked a cassoulet as well (because I had to use it straight away!) It was really delicious, thank you! I should be blogging about it later so I will definitely give you a link back. I made confit garlic bread too, you have to try it, its so good!

  4. Charles Book
    February 9, 2011 at 11:58 am #

    Much to be Yummed about here. The Yummy Chickpea Channa/Roti is dinner tonight. Yum! You might want to limit the Yummying a tad; one Yum per recipe would be just Yummy enough to last until the next Yummy recipe! Yumm! And is Yum with only one m less Yummy than Yumm with two ms? The photos accompanying the Yummy recipes are beautifully shot. Yummmm!
    Sorry- just a point of form. The site and the recipes really are…….


  1. Rustic Bean Cassoulet with confit garlic and roasted aubergine « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - January 19, 2011

    […] Recipe from The Kitchen Operas […]

  2. Acorn Squash & Chickpea Crumble with Collard Greens | The Kitchen Operas - February 21, 2011

    […] added some garlic to the savoury crumble topping (a trick from the cassoulet I made!).  I think that next time, I will indeed use oats — I can’t believe I ran out of oats […]

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