Cauliflower and white bean stew


If you ask Alfie or the kids what my favorite vegetable is, chances are they'll say it's cauliflower (okay, they might also say eggplant or onion or broccoli or tomato, but I guarantee they'll say cauliflower by the third or fourth try). I love cauliflower, and my absolute favorite cauliflower dish is Cauliflower and White Bean Stew.

My childhood is filled with memories of the Pote Gallego made by my grandmother's cook (the best cook of all time), with Chorizo Bilbao (Marca El Rey, naturally!) swimming in a broth of white beans, chicken stock, garlic, onion and olive oil. When I went off to make my own way in the big wide world, Pote Gallego was one of the first dishes I tried to cook on my own.

Now, I'm no cook, and I have no idea where to get Marca El Rey chorizo around here, so I was never expecting to replicate the dish exactly. But over time, through trial and error I've come up with my own version. It's a lot healthier than the original version, and you can even make it a vegetarian dish by omitting the sausage and using vegetable stock. I never measure my ingredients, but here's an approximation of the recipe:

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 medium onion, minced
olive oil
2 cans white beans, rinsed
6 cups chicken stock (Use vegetable stock if you want to make this dish vegetarian)
1 head cauliflower, cut into chunks
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 to 1 lb. sausage, cut into chunks (Omit this if you want to make this dish vegetarian. I like to use chicken sausages* because they're pretty healthy as far as sausages go, but you can use pork sausages for a more robust flavor. )

Saute the garlic and onion in olive oil.
Add the beans, chicken stock, and chopped cauliflower, and bring to a boil.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Reduce heat to medium, and simmer for at least 45 minutes. You may need to add more water as it boils down.
Add the sausage, then simmer for 10 more minutes.

I believe Pote Gallego is usually served with crusty bread -- but hey, I'm Filipino, so I spoon this over rice. The leftovers taste fantastic the next day!


* We had this tonight, and I used Sweet Apple & Maple chicken sausages from Safeway's new OpenNature line. Go to Bonggamom Finds to find out more about OpenNature -- and to enter my $50 Safeway gift card giveaway!

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Vicky B said...

made this last night (with chicken sausage). Very tasty. Added some cumin too.