Creole spices enliven this hearty mixed bean and vegetable casserole. Like the classic French cassoulet, it has a crisp crumb topping. With the accompanying refreshing salad, it makes a tasty, well-balanced meal.
Instead of almonds, add 2 coarsely grated carrots to the salad with 2 tbsp poppy seeds. Soak 2 tbsp currants in 2 tbsp orange juice for several hours or overnight, then add them with the carrots and poppy seeds. * Peppery rocket is delicious with the oranges and almonds in the salad. Use 85 g (3 oz) instead of the lettuce. * Instead of breadcrumbs, top the casserole with slices of garlic bread. Cream 1 crushed garlic clove with 40 g (1½ oz) butter and spread over 8 slices of French bread. Cook for only 30 minutes. * Use all flageolet beans instead of a mixture of pinto and flageolet, or a combination of haricot and flageolet. Haricot with black-eyed or red-kidney beans is also good.
Oranges are an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps the body to absorb the iron provided by the beans. * Beans and pulses are rich in soluble fibre and have a low glycaemic index. This means they are broken down slowly so they are more satisfying, making you feel full for longer and keeping blood sugar levels stable. * Almonds contribute protein to the salad accompaniment plus some vitamin E.
C, E, copper, iron * B1, folate, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc * A, niacin
This was stupendous. I made it with a tin of mixed beans, which cut out all that soaking business and made it a quick meal. Also used a pinch of cinnamon as no sticks. By using sunflower spread instead of butter, I made it a Vegan meal. Best of all was the lovely salad - the combo of oranges, almonds and lettuce was a great surprise and very good. Thanks! - 06 Jan 2013