vegetable cassoulet & sweet potato cornbread
March in Chicago means that today there’s a snowstorm outside my window just when I’ve had a handful of sixty degree days to remind me how much I like spring. Yesterday it rained all day with a chilly dampness that a dozen cups of tea and my warmest socks couldn’t shake, and sometimes the only thing to do is give in and cook like it’s still February.
- 1/2 cup dried mung beans
- 4 potatoes
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 stalks celery
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups vegetable stock or broth
- rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, oregano, salt & pepper to taste
- Boil mung beans in water on medium-high heat for ten minutes, then lower to medium heat and simmer for an additional ten minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, peel and quarter potatoes and boil for about ten minutes, until beginning to soften.
- Slice onion, carrots and celery and saute in olive oil for about five minutes. Add liquid and season to taste. Cook for another five minutes.
- Combine liquid & vegetables, beans and potatoes in an oven-proof casserole and cover with a lid (I’m so thrilled to be reunited with my Le Creuset!)
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until bubbling.
Sweet potato cornbread:
- 1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup buttermilk, soymilk or coconut milk
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9” x 9” baking pan.
- Beat together eggs, milk and sweet potato. Add dry ingredients, oil and stir in coconut last.
- Bake until deep golden, about 40 minutes.
Winter is long in this climate
and spring—a matter of a few days
only,—a flower or two picked
from mud or from among wet leaves
or at best against treacherous
bitterness of wind, and sky shining
teasingly, then closing in black
and sudden, with fierce jaws.
you are like a band of
young poets that have not learned
the blessedness of warmth
(or have forgotten it).
At any rate—
I am moved to write poetry
for the warmth there is in it
and for the loneliness—
a poem that shall have you
in it March.
— William Carlos Williams
(last april in central park. hurry up, spring.)