Monday, April 2, 2012

Vegetarian Sausage and Bean Flatbread

The inspiration for this weeks recipe took quite a while to come to me. It must have taken a long detour, because for the whole week, I just did not know what to do with the cassoulet. My mistake was to google pictures, and really, it looked like the last thing I would want to eat.
So I had zero inspiration to do something with these ingredients. I decided half-inspired to try to make vegetarian sausage to use later in the week for this weeks recipe.
It wasn't until Saturday that inspiration came by for a short visit before leaving again. Put it all in or on something, instead of cooking it all together as a stew. Well, that is how I ended up deconstructing the original recipe for cassoulet.
Maybe I'm taking the recipe a bit too far from the original,  somehow I usually end up with something completely different. But it is just how I cook. I am more inspired by the ingredients than by the recipe itself. I try working with the combination of flavors or the idea I see in the recipe. Only really rarely do I go out and buy just the right thing to make this recipe I read about. And really, this is how I would love you to read the recipes I post here. You certainly can follow the recipe, and it should hopefully turn out as well as when I made it, but more than that, I would love you to go from the idea you see in my recipes and turn it into your recipe. To me, this is what makes cooking fun, why I keep cooking, throwing together food to turn it into meals.

Vegetarian Sausage and Bean Flatbread

Note: I made the sausages myself, following this recipe, but adding quite a bit more spices: About 2 tbsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 2 tbsp sugar, a small handful of nutritional yeast amongst the things I remember, and some more but unfortunately I did not write it down. The recipe is okay, especially for this purpose because I end up crumbling the sausage, but as a sausage substitute, it still needs improving. I might have to work on this. But if you don't want to make the sausage just to make this flatbread, I think you could crumble some tempeh and pan-fry it with some fennel seeds, or tofu, prepared in the same way. Or any store-bought vegetarian sausage you might find.

for dough:
125g all-purpose flour
1 tbsp olive oil
65ml water
1/2 tsp salt

for topping:
100g creme fraiche
1/2 fennel bulb
a few cm of a leek, white parts
1 vegetarian sausage, crumbled
a handful of white beans, cooked
a handful of arugula

Prepare the dough: In a mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and olive oil. Add in the water and whisk with a fork until the dough starts to come together. Take the dough out of the bowl now and knead it for about 5 minutes until it is smooth. Set aside for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C at about this time.

Prepare the toppings: Cut the fennel bulb into thin slices. Cut the leek into rings. Crumble the sausage, wash the arugula.

After 30 minutes, roll out the dough almost as thin as you can. Put it on a parchment paper, on a baking tray. Bake it blind for a few minutes (about 3-4) so that it does not get soggy. Take it out again, and spread the creme fraich over the surface of the dough. Top it with the fennel and leek slices, then the sausage and the beans and the arugula on the top. (The arugula gets crispy if you bake it, if you prefer it fresh, only add it after the baking).
Put the flatbread in the oven for about 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown on the edges and the arugula has started to wilt and crisp up, but is not black.

Serves 2.

Also check out the other participants in the food matters project, this weeks recipe was Cassoulet with Lots of Vegetables.


  1. The vegetarian sausage is a wonderful change. I made mine soup and vegetarian. I wish, I had thought of the veggie sausage. The dish may be far afield but it sounds delicious.

  2. Genius! I love the looks of your flatbread! :)

  3. look delicious and very fresh! Googling pictures of a cassoulet does pull up some pretty ugly dishes. You should try it though it was really good and there can be so many variations!

    1. After looking at all the variations and realizing that with lots of vegetables actually really change the look and feel of the recipe, I think I really need to give this a real try.

  4. Flatbread is an awesome idea and so nice to share with a group of friends.

  5. That pizza looks delicious! And yes, cassoulet can be ugly, but your pizza is beautiful!

  6. This turned out great! I like how you say that the ingredients take you where you want to go. I should start looking at the recipes early on. But I'd definitely make your dish as a great meal!

  7. What a great idea! Beautiful photo - it looks delicious!

  8. Great spin on the cassoulet! Very creative.

  9. Fennel mmm... I love this! Original and inspired. Great job!

  10. What a great idea! I, also, was completely uninspired by the cassoulet recipe, until a friend brought me some wild boar sausages from a pig he had shot earlier. So, I made the cassoulet for dinner tonight. Better late than never. I like your version.

  11. This looks fabulous Lena! I love your creativity! Sometimes I get stuck in a box and can't think of anything to do with recipes (other than to follow them). I love that you gave yourself some time to figure it out. Nicely done :)

  12. Way to think outside the box! Looks delish!