Thanksgiving Sides

It’s the side dishes that make a holiday meal memorable. 

Tyler Darden

Chef Jonathan Martin, Wilted Winter Greens and White Bean Cassoulet

(Photo by Tyler Darden)

Closing his eyes, Johnathan Martin remembers walking into his grandmother’s house and taking in the intoxicating aromas of a special meal, days in the making. “It’s probably the reason I wanted to become a chef,” he says, “seeing the joy it brought her to make us smile through her food.”

Tyler Darden

Chef Jonathan Martin, Wilted Winter Greens and White Bean Cassoulet

Martin ticks off his favorite dishes: a classic sweet potato casserole topped with candied pecans, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon and balsamic reduction, and creamed corn.

More flavors of the season emerge in his homey cassoulet, a timeless dish that showcases the rich subtle flavor of white beans, or haricots blanc, married with wilted winter greens, noted for their earthiness and pleasant bitterness. AshbyInn.com


Wilted Winter Green and White Bean Cassoulet 

Johnathan Martin, The Ashby Inn, Paris

  • 2 pounds small white beans, like great Northern, soaked overnight in cold water
  • 1 pound thick-cut bacon, diced large 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 large white onions, peeled, diced small
  • 2 carrots, peeled, diced small 
  • 2 celery stalks, diced small
  • 1 pound collard greens, chopped
  • 1 pound mustard greens, chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or canned broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1½ pounds red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
  • Coarse salt
  • Black pepper
Tyler Darden

Chef Jonathan Martin, Wilted Winter Greens and White Bean Cassoulet

(Photo by Tyler Darden)

Prepare beans by bringing to a boil in lightly salted water. Reduce heat and gently simmer over low, uncovered, for about an hour until tender. Strain and reserve.

In a large cassoulet dish, render bacon on high until almost crispy. Add garlic, onions, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaves. Sauté until onions are translucent. Deglaze with white wine and then reduce until almost dry.

Add collards and mustard greens and sauté until wilted. Add tomatoes and bring to simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add heavy cream and chicken stock, and simmer for an additional 20-25 minutes.

Slowly add cheese until evenly melted. Add reserved beans, stir, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes before adding salt and pepper to taste. Cover entire top of cassoulet with bread crumbs, and bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes to form a nice crust. Allow to cool slightly before serving.  Serves 8-12


This article originally appeared in the December 2022 issue.

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