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Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes

Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes, a meatless bean dish that is creamy, richly textured and delicious. Perfect for introducing beans to all non-bean eaters!  

Do you have some "no beans for me!" eaters in your group? This dish just might change their minds! Because it is mild, creamy and has a delicious crispy bread topping. 

So far in my own small history of cooking beans, this is the most interesting dish. An adaptation of a French Cassoulet, but frugally prepared without the different meats to flavor and serve alongside the meal. In France, the Cassoulet is still a popular and respected dish, with many fine restaurants serving it nightly.

Beans are a bit like yeast bread. There is no precise way to prepare them and, it does take a bit of practice because this is a living food. Grown, harvested and dried for storage. When you take any food from a dry state and add water or other liquid, there will be changes you cannot always control, completely. But you can and will guide the food and the process. Each time you cook living food, you gain knowledge and expertise.

But the most wonderful thing is that there is never a bad pot of beans just like there is not a bad loaf of bread. You may have wanted it to turn out differently on those first few times, but it is always edible and has great flavor, with exception to burning........but that goes for every food prepared not just beans and bread.

Also like all great recipes, this one easily breaks down to be completed in steps. For many recipes like this one that might be viewed as too difficult, it can also be viewed as workable and easy to manage. Because a few minutes here and a few minutes there and you have a great dish to serve, with pride.

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Ingredients needed for this recipe:
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Now we are ready to get started!

Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes, a mild and creamy bean dish for everyone!

Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes

adapted from: Easy Beans
375-degree oven

2 1/2 c dry great northern beans

3 T Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large fresh Roma tomatoes - if your tomatoes are small, use 4-6, diced
1/2 c chicken stock
1/2 c cream or Half & Half
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 1/2 c dry bread crumbs
2 sliced green onions
2 t thyme, crushed
2 t rosemary, crushed
1/4 t garlic salt
1/3 c melted butter

Soak beans, using a preferred method. Drain, cover with fresh cold water, bring to a boil, reduce heat simmer until tender 45-60 minutes. To test beans, mash one bean between your thumb and finger, it should mash easy. Drain and proceed with the recipe or refrigerate beans for later.

To make the sauce, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender, do not brown. Add the diced tomatoes and the stock, simmer 2 minutes. Stir in the cream. Add beans, mix gently. Pour into prepared baking dish.

Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes.

Easy and delicious, Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes.

To make the bread crumb topping, in a medium-sized bowl combine the crumbs, green onions, thyme, rosemary, and garlic salt. Add the melted butter, stir to combine well. Sprinkle evenly over the beans. 

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven, 45 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly, the topping will be golden brown.

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  1. We would definitely only be classified as occasional bean eaters in our house.

    1. I try to serve beans once a week at the least, but my husband could eat them daily!

  2. This sounds delicious!! Especially with the bread crumb topping.

    1. Thank you, it is a wonderful spring and summer dish. Not too heavy or too spicy.

  3. What a delicious idea! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party - have a fabulous and safe week.

  4. We love beans and this looks like a great alternative to my usual variations -- usually served over rice or pasta.

    1. I hope you give this recipe a try, it is light enough to enjoy with many different entrees. Thanks for stopping by!


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