A modernized, 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! See recipe notes for stovetop instructions! Updated 11/2019
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!
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.
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! ( Dry White bean soaking time 8 hours- or used canned beans on the stove.)
- 1 pound dry white beans ( soaked 8-24 hours- or used canned- see notes)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves, rough chopped
- 4 cups veggie or chicken stock
- 1 cup water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoon herbs de Provence ( or sub dried thyme or rosemary)
This will make 5 cups cooked beans (or use canned, you will need about 3 cans)
Lemony Kale “Pesto”
- 2 cups lacinato kale, packed (about 1 small bunch, small tender stems ok)
- 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
Serve with – rustic bread and simple arugula salad.
If using dry white beans, soak 8-24 hours in salted water. Drain. ( see note for unsoaked beans, or canned beans)
Set instant Pot to Saute Function and heat oil. Add onions and saute 4-5 minutes, stirring. Add garlic, saute for 2 minutes.
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.
When the beans are done, ladle out any excess broth, reserving it.
Stir in the kale pesto, 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. 🙂 Let this sit at warm setting 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld a bit.
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 PRESOAK? 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.
CANNED BEANS: Make this on the stovetop with canned beans. Heat oil, Saute onion and garlic until fragrant and golden. Add 3 cans drained beans (4 1/2 -5 cups), 1 cup broth or stock, and reduce salt to 1 teaspoon, add pepper, bay leaves, herbs de Provence and bring to a gentle simmer for 15 minutes, adding more stock or water if needed to keep that stew-like consistency. Stir the kale pesto into the beans, simmer 5-10 more minutes adjust salt and lemon.
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. 🙂
Keywords: white bean stew with kale , cassoulet, white bean cassoulet, instant pot cassoulet, green cassoulet, cassoulet vert