Thursday, November 22, 2007

Leek and Bean Cassoulet: A Veganomicon Review

First, let me wish a Happy (and turkey-free) Thanksgiving to my American readers. I hope your day was filled with family and/or friends and tasty, tasty, food. So, while you bolted down Tofurkey, we tried another Veganomicon recipe. Temperatures are plunging here (-7 degrees Celsius as today's high), so this seemed like the perfect dish. White beans, leeks, potatoes, and flaky biscuits sounded like a nice culinary hug on a chilly day.

Taste-wise, the recipe was a success. The textures also worked well--smooth sauce, soft veggies, and firm yet flaky biscuits. The spicing is nothing exceptional, but it works well to create a dish with comfort food appeal.

My only criticism is that the recipe/method is over complicated. I will do things differently next time. For example, the recipe calls to boil the potatoes until tender, but to saute the carrots in the pan until "very soft." This actually takes a long time, so it makes more sense to me to boil the carrots and potatoes together to save some time. Finally, while the dish tastes good, I am not sure it is worth all the prep time (for a dad of three who is pinched for time). When in the mood for comfort food during the week I might be inclined to make Chickpea Pot Pie or Cheesy Chickpea Shepherd's Pie and save this cassoulet for the weekends when I have more time.

The final analysis: 8.5/10


Lynn / vigilant20 said...

That does sound like it would be easier. Good tips. And Happy Thanksgiving :)

VeggieGirl said...

I agree - while I love Veganomicon, a lot of the recipe instructions are quite over-complicated (hence, it's taken me almost a month to decide what to make first, from that cookbook). But I like your quicker method (and hey, the dish looks delicious!! nice job!!)

Thanks for the Thanksgiving wishes :0) It WAS a lovely celebration, indeed!

SaraJane said...

I'm glad to hear your experience with this recipe. As someone who works insane hours, I typically don't have much time to cook dinner in the evenings either, but have been dying to make this recipe. I think I'll take your advice and save it for the weekend.

bazu said...

I want to make this, and will definitely take your tips into consideration when I do.

Monk said...

I'm all about the microwave - why do you have to boil carrots and potatoes? Either get them started or finish them off in the microwave. It's the biggest time saver EVER!

Volo said...

I wish I had found this posting sooner because I made this last week and thought it was just so-so. Far too much work for the final product. So far this is the only recipe from veganomicon that I likely won't make again. Yours looked a lot nicer than mine!!