Caramelizing the onions in olive oil provides rich flavor and helps boost absorption of lycopene, a cancer-preventing compound found in tomatoes. Crispy, garlicky breadcrumbs top it off perfectly.Makes 6 servings
For the cassoulet:
- 2 medium onions, sliced, and 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
- 3 celery stalks, cut in small pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 jars home-canned tomatoes or 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 5 cups cooked white beans (such as cannellini)*
- Vegetarian stock as needed, approximately 1 quart
For the breadcrumbs:
- 4 cups coarse, fresh bread crumbs from cornbread
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons lemon zest
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium-low heat in large, deep, heavy bottomed pot. Place sliced onions in pot, turn heat to low, and sauté, stirring regularly, for approximately 30 minutes, until onions are soft and brown. Remove to a bowl.
- Pour remaining 1/4 cup oil into pot and turn heat up to medium. Add diced onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 15 minutes.
- Add beans, tomatoes with juice, and stock to cover mixture by 2 inches. Cook over low heat partially covered until all vegetables are soft and stew has thickened, approximately 15 minutes. Add the caramelized onions and continue simmering until heated.
- While cassoulet is cooking, preheat oven to 350° F with the rack positioned in middle. Spread breadcrumbs over baking sheet and drizzle with oil and garlic. Toss to combine and spread evenly. Toast in oven until crisp and golden, 10-15 minutes, stirring once halfway through.
- Cool breadcrumbs and toss with parsley and lemon zest until thoroughly combined. Serve cassoulet in bowls with breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.
*Bon Appétit chefs use dried beans cooked in the kitchen. Home cooks may opt to use (3) 15-oz cans of white beans, drained and rinsed.