Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mediterranean Bean and Sausage Ragout

Maybe I should make a tag for food that tastes great but doesn't look so good, as this seems to be a common category in vegan cooking.  :-/

Edit 10/20/10: I recently remade this dish (though with chickpeas), and got a slightly better photo:

I made this for a dinner party tonight, so there's a chance that someone might read about his/her dinner before getting here!  The restrictions: the dinner would be Italian/Mediterraneanish, and I would make something proteiny.  Et voila.  Delectable comfort food made a bit special with wine and thyme, but mostly, really cheap and simple ingredients.  I started with a recipe from Vegan Planet and omitted the fennel and added tempeh sausage and capers (as I think a more traditional dish would probably have bacon or sausage or something in it as a base).  Pureed potato and white beans make this dish incredibly creamy, and the wine and capers give it a bit of zing in contrast to the other earthy, meaty flavors.  It's delicious!  Don't let the photo fool you.  We're having this with a pasta-vegetable salad and Blueberry Cornmeal Coffee Cake.

Mediterranean Bean and Sausage Ragout
(adapted from Vegan Planet)

2 TB olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB tomato paste
2 c vegetable stock
1/2+ c dry white wine
1 tsp dried thyme
2 bay leaves
2 15-oz cans white beans, drained and rinsed
2 TB capers and brine
tempeh sausage (see below)
fresh parsley (optional)

1. In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat oil.  Add onion and carrots, cover and cook about 5 min.
2. Add potato and garlic and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 sec.
3. Stir in tomato paste, stock, wine, thyme, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 min, until vegetables are tender.
4. Add beans and cook 10 more minutes.  Turn off heat and allow to cool a bit.  Remove 1-2 c and puree in a blender.  Place back in pot, and add capers and brine, and tempeh sausage.  You probably will not need to add any salt.  Bring back up to hot and serve, garnishing with fresh parsley if desired.  Serves 4-6.


Tempeh Sausage

8 oz. tempeh, cubed and/or crumbled
1/4 tsp dried thyme
3/4 tsp dried sage
1 bay leaf, ground
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
fennel seeds (optional)
ground black pepper
1/2 TB tamari
1-2 TB olive oil 
Combine ingredients in a bowl.  Spread out on a baking sheet and broil for 5-6 minutes (or until browned), stirring once.

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