A modernized, French-inspired White Bean recipe called Cassoulet Vert with a Lemony Kale Pesto that is meat-free and that can be made in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop. Fast, healthy delicious! Can be made in 30-minutes using canned white beans.
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. ~ Ikigai
Here’s a simple recipe for Cassoulet Vert – a modernized version of French white bean stew enlivened with Lemony Kale Pesto.
I got this idea from a lovely restaurant in Silver Lake, California called Botanica which I highly recommend.
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.
And yet, once you get it into your bowl, it’s deliciously satisfying and soulful. A simple bowl of beans. You can do so much with this!
The zesty kale pesto breathes life into the somber white beans, giving them an unexpected brightness. Perfect for this time of year!
What you’ll need:
- White Beans (canned or dry) – cannelini beans, white beans, navy beans
- lacinato kale
- Italian parsley or basil
- ¼ cup nuts (optional) – toasted almonds, cashews, pinenuts, smoked almonds are nice too (or leave them out)
- salt and pepper
How to make Cassoulet Vert
Step One: Cook a pound of dry white beans in the instant pot using the pressure cooker setting for 25 minutes ( or on the stove top).
For a 30-minute version, substitute 3 x 14-ounce cans of white beans- you’ll need 4 ½ -5 cups of cooked white beans.
While this is cooking, make the Lemony Kale Pesto.
While this is cooking, make the Lemony Kale Pesto.
I intentionally kept this Lemony Kale Pesto, cheese-free this time, 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.
***If using canned beans, mix the beans with the Kale pesto and gently warm on the stove top. Feel free to keep warm in the oven.
Serve them up in a rustic baking dish if you like!
The Lemony Kale Pesto gives the beans a burst of color, flavor and so many nutrients!
Repurpose the beans throughout the week – see the recipe notes!
More recipes you may like:
- Lemony Corona Beans with Olive Oil, Garlic & Herbs
- Creamy White Bean Soup with Gremolata
- Brothy Tortellini Soup w/ Spinach, White Beans & Basil
- Italian Baked Beans and Greens
- Charred Asparagus Kale Pasta with Lemony Cannellini Beans
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!
- 3 x 14-ounce cans White Beans ( 4 ½ cups cooked), drained (or scroll down for Instant Pot Dry beans)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 1 cup veggie broth or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs de Provence (or sub dried thyme or rosemary)
Lemony Kale “Pesto”
- 2 cups lacinato kale, packed (about 1 small bunch, stems removed)
- ½ bunch Italian parsley or basil (about 1 cup packed, thins stems ok) or a combo of both
- 2 cloves garlic
- zest and juice from one medium lemon
- 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 (or more, just to get this into a thick “paste”)
- 1 teaspoon salt
Garlicky Bread Crumbs or Croutons
- 1–2 slices bread, torn into little pieces
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1–2 garlic cloves, smashed
- pinch salt
Instant Pot White Beans:
Beans: If making the white beans in an Instant Pot, scroll down and start them now.
Stove top: In a large pot or dutch oven, heat the oil, over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring for 3-4 minus until fragrant. Lower heat to medium, and sautéed 3-4 more minutes. Add the beans, broth, dried herbs and bring to a gentle simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and set heat to low heat.
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.
Make the garlicky bread crumbs:Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Swirl the smashed garlic in the oil infusing it, until the garlic is deeply golden and fragrant, season the oil with salt. Remove the garlic. Add fresh torn bread to the skillet and fry until golden and crispy, stirring. Set aside.
Add the lemony kale pesto to the warm beans, gently incorporating. To loosen add more broth to get it a stewy consistency. You don’t want this too soupy, or too dry. Inbetween. 🙂 Let this warm up but don’t cook too long or you’ll loose the lovely color.
Taste for salt and lemon. I typically add both. If it’s bland- it needs both. You want this lemony and slightly salty!
INSTANT POT WHITE BEANS:
If using dry white beans, soak 8-24 hours in salted water. Drain. ( see note for unsoaked beans). Set instant Pot to Saute Function and heat oil. Add onions and saute 3-4 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Add stock or broth, water, white beans, salt, pepper, bay leaves, herbs, give a stir and set instant Pot to High Pressure for 25 minutes. Naturally release. When the beans are done, ladle out any excess broth, reserving it. Add the lemony kale pesto to the warm beans, gently incorporating. Add back some hot bean water back into the pot to loosen if needed, to make it a stewy consistency. You don’t want this too soupy, or too dry. Inbetween. 🙂 Taste for salt and lemon. I typically add both. If it’s bland- it needs both. You want this lemony and slightly salty! Leave on this on warm setting, and it will get better and better as the flavors meld.
NO Time to SOAK? You can cook the beans without presoaking if in a pinch. Follow the same directions, increasing the water by 2 cups. (Add 2 cups more water, so 3 cups total) Let naturally release, strain beans, reserving liquid. Continue following the recipe.
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. 🙂
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 292
- Sugar: 0.9 g
- Sodium: 627.9 mg
- Fat: 22.8 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 19.9 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 10.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: white bean stew with kale , cassoulet, white bean cassoulet, instant pot cassoulet, green cassoulet, cassoulet vert