You've probably heard of duck confit, an essential ingredient in that crazy-rich French bean stew called cassoulet. But did you know that confit is a verb as well as a noun, at least as far as us cooks are concerned? You can confit vegetables as easily as you can duck legs.
Okay, let's start with the classic: duck confit. You can't make a real southwestern France-style cassoulet without it. You can buy it, but it's pricey. Cheaper, and to my palate tastier, is homemade duck confit.
Don't eat meat? Confit still has a place on your table. Think quick pasta sauce or perfect match for whole grains and root veggies. Here's how to make vegetable confit.
If you're sticking to that New Year's resolution diet (good for you!), don't count confit out. It adds such luxurious taste to other ingredients even when added in tiny amounts that I find it can actually help me stick to a diet. Try a tablespoon or less of confit tossed with 2 cups of any hot, steamed vegetable - delicious!
Photo: ŠLeda Meredith