A French-style White Bean Stew called Cassoulet Vert with a Lemony Kale Pesto that is meat-free and that can be made in an Instant Pot! Fast, healthy delicious!
The happiest people are not the ones who achieve the most. They are the ones who spend more time than others in the state of flow. ~ from
Here’s a simple recipe for Cassoulet Vert – a modernized version of French white bean stew enlivened with Lemony Kale Pesto. Originating in France, cassoulets were once considered peasant food – economical beans baked long and slow with whatever meat was available, getting its name from the clay pot it was baked in. This version breaks all of these rules.
Vegan and cooked in an instant pot, this hardly warrants being called a cassoulet- and yet, once you get it into your bowl, it feels like a modern-day version of peasant food- humble, economical, efficient, yet deliciously satisfying and soulful. A simple bowl of beans.
The zesty kale pesto breathes life into the somber white beans, giving them an unexpected brightness. Perfect for this time of year!
So here I’ve cooked a pound of classic dry Navy Beans in the instant pot using the pressure cooker setting for 25 minutes. While this is cooking, make the pesto.
NOTE: you don’t have to use a pressure cooker for this, see the recipe for more options!
I kept this Lemony Kale Pesto, cheese-free, but for extra richness, feel free to add parmesan or pecorino. Instead of pine nuts, I used toasted sliced almonds, which could also be left out.
When the beans are done, simply mix the two together. Serve it up in a rustic baking dish if you like with a simple arugula salad. For extra protein, top with a soft boiled egg. Roasted butternut squash would also me a nice addition!
To serve, you could sprinkle with parmesan, top it with a soft-boiled egg and serve with rustic bread- or keep it lean and vegan, with a drizzle of olive oil and avocado.
The Lemony Kale Pesto gives the beans a burst of color, flavor and nutrients!
Repurpose the beans throughout the week – see recipe notes!
For more Bean recipes ….go here!
Have a happy Thursday.
Cassoulet Vert – a modernized White Bean Stew enlivened with Lemony Kale Pesto that is meat-free and that can be made in an Instant Pot! Fast, healthy delicious!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4
- Category: Vegan Main
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: French
Instant Pot White Beans
- 1 pound dry navy beans or Northern white beans ( or used canned- see notes)
- 8 cups water
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ onion diced ( or use 1 tablespoon onion powder)
- 4 smashed garlic cloves ( or use 2 teaspoons granulated garlic)
- 2 bay leaves or 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence or Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
This will make 5 cups cooked beans (or use canned, you will need about 3-4 cans)
Lemony Kale “Pesto”
- 2 cups lacinato kale, packed (about 1 small bunch, tender stems ok)
- ½ bunch Italian parsley (about 1 cup packed, thins stems ok)
- 2 cloves garlic
- zest from one lemon
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice.
- ¼ cup nuts (optional) -like toasted sliced almonds, cashews, toasted pinenuts, smoked almonds are nice too (or leave them out)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup water
- ½ teaspoon salt
Optional Garnishes- shaved parmesan, soft boiled eggs, avocado, toasted bread crumbs, dollops of goat cheese, roasted veggies like butternut, or a simple drizzle of olive oil.
Serve with – rustic bread and simple arugula salad.
If cooking beans from scratch in an Instant Pot, place all ingredients in the pot, and set to pressure cooker setting -high- for 27 minutes for Navy Beans, 30 minutes for White beans. Don’t skip the oil, it will prevent it from foaming. Naturally release. You can also cook beans in a pot on the stove ( covered) for 50-55 minutes, or until tender, or used canned beans.
If using canned beans, heat them up on the stove with 1 cup of water.
Make the Lemony Kale Pesto. Place the Kale, parsley and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until chopped. Add the remaining ingredients- zest, lemon juice, oil, water, salt, nuts ( if using). Pulse until well combined but not too smooth. Scrap down sides, pulse again.
When the beans are done, strain, reserving the hot liquid. Place beans in a baking dish or serving dish. Stir in the kale pesto, gently incorporating. Add some hot bean water to loosen it to a slightly soupy consistancy. You do not want this dry. Taste for salt( I added another 1/4 teaspoon) and more lemon if needed. Right before serving, drizzle with olive oil and any additional garnishes you like.
To make a toasted bread crumb topping, gently toast fresh torn bread crumbs in a skillet with a little olive oil, and season with salt, until golden. For extra garlic flavor, add a smashed garlic clove to the olive in the skillet while its heating, to infused the oil before adding the bread crumbs.
For extra richness, top with a poached egg, sliced avocado, shaved parmesan, or a dollop of goat cheese.
Feel free to sub canned beans- white beans, navy, cannelini beans…( drained, rinsed) and heat up on the stove top with 1 cup or more of water.
If especially pressed for time, I noticed Trader Joes carries vegan kale pesto. I have not tried this personally, but I imagine you could use this too, perhaps doctoring the beans with a little lemon and salt. It won’t have this gorgeous vibrant color though…
This simple base recipe can be repurposed into other dishes during the week. Pan-sear a piece of fish or chicken and serve it over top, or let the beans be the base of your next buddha bowl. Have some for breakfast with an egg and toast. Turn it into bruschetta. Toss the cold beans into a salad. You get the idea. 🙂