Some of the recipes in Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals aren’t easily converted into vegetarian meals but this cassoulet only required omitting the bacon and using vegetarian sausages. Jamie Oliver might not approve as he strongly emphasises the importance of using good quality (pork) sausages in this recipe, but Sainsbury’s or Tesco’s vegetarian Lincolnshire sausages are lovely and the dish turned out well regardless.
I didn’t have any of the fresh herbs specified in the recipe so I resorted to using the dried versions instead. Sage and rosemary are woody herbs and retain their flavour well when dried - just remember to reduce the quantities a bit as they are considerably stronger than their fresh counterparts.
As I don’t own a roasting tray that can be placed onto a direct heat source I cooked the cassoulet in a large frying pan and then transferred it to two 28cm ovenproof dishes before baking it.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C, boil a kettle of water and heat a large frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of olive oil.
- Grill the sausages until they start to brown then cut in half lengthways and put to one side.
- Slice the onions and leeks (wash the leeks thoroughly first), then add them to the frying pan and allow them to soften for around 10 minutes.
- Add the sage, rosemary, bay leaves and a pinch of salt / pepper to the frying pan along with a splash of boiled water and give everything a stir.
- Tear up the bread and put it in a food processor or blender along with the salt, pepper, a pinch of sage and two crushed cloves of garlic (I prefer to precook the garlic but this isn't a requirement). Process until you have coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the cans of undrained butter and haricot beans along with the passata to the frying pan and stir well. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Distribute half of the cassoulet across two 28cm ovenproof dishes and then top with half of the breadcrumbs. Arrange the sausages evenly on top, pour over the remaining sauce and then finish with the breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Place in the oven to bake for around 15-20 minutes until the breadcrumbs have turned golden brown.
- While the cassoulet is baking, prepare the sauce for the broccoli by grating the red onion quarter and combining it with a crushed clove of garlic, the juice of the lemon and a few splashes of olive oil.
- Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds before carefully grating them into a bowl and discarding the outer skins. Stir the tomato pulp into the sauce for the broccoli.
- Boil or steam your broccoli until al dente (usually around 4 minutes), then drain, place in a bowl and pour over the tomato sauce.
- By now the cassoulet should be ready - remove it from the oven, toss the broccoli with the sauce and serve with a nice red wine.