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Monday, November 1, 2021

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 any and all non-bean eaters! Because this dish is milk, creamy and has a delicious crispy bread crumb topping. 


So far in my own small history of cooking beans, this is the most interesting dish, thus far. 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.


In my opinion beans are a bit like yeast bread. There is no precise way to prepare them and, it does take a bit of practice because beans are a living food. Much like the wheat for bread, beans are grown, harvested, and dried for storage. When you take any food from a dry state and add water or other liquid, there will be unforeseen factors you cannot, completely. 


But you can and will guide the food and the cooking process along the way. 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 never a bad loaf of bread. Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes, is one of those recipes. Those dried beans will become tender and silky under your guidance in the kitchen. 




And like all great recipes, this one easily breaks down to be completed in steps. A recipe like Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes might be viewed as too difficult, it can also be viewed as workable and easy to manage. When ever you break down a recipe into steps, with a few minutes here and a few minutes there, you have a great dish to serve, with pride.

Thoughts on this recipe.

Fresh tomatoes are available year-round through the magic of transportation. When you purchase tomatoes for this recipe, let them sit at room temperature for a couple days to mellow and sweeten, if they appear firm to the touch. 

This bean recipe like most I make, requires the beans are soaked prior to cooking. This is easy, just throw them in a large bowl, cover them with water by 2 inches, and let them sit overnight. 

You can complete the soaking step ahead of time, then drain, rinse the soaked beans, and put them in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to make the recipe. 

This dish is perfect with a main dish or as a meatless entree. 


Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • great northern beans
  • olive oil
  • onion
  • garlic
  • fresh tomatoes
  • chicken stock
  • cream
  • salt & pepper
  • bread crumbs
  • green onions
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • garlic salt
  • butter
You will also need the following:
  • large stockpot 
  • sauté pan
  • large baking dish
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cups
  • cutting board
  • kitchen knife
  • large spoon
Now we are ready to get started!



Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes
adapted from: Easy Beans
375-degree oven
Updated: 11.01.2021

2 1/2 c dry great northern beans

3 T Olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large fresh ripe Roma tomatoes - if 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, we prefer whole wheat 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, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender, do not brown.
 
Add the diced tomatoes and the stock, simmer for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the cream. 

Add beans, mix gently. 

Pour into prepared baking dish.



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, for 45 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly, the topping will be golden brown.


Storage options for Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. The crumb topping will soften, you may reheat and then crisp the crumb topping under the broiler if desired. 


UPDATE:  For your convenience, a "copy and paste" version of Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes has been included below. 


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Printable "copy and paste" version:


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 ripe Roma tomatoes - if 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, we prefer whole wheat 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, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until tender, do not brown.
 
Add the diced tomatoes and the stock, simmer for 2 minutes. 

Stir in the cream. 

Add beans, mix gently. 

Pour into prepared baking dish.

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, for 45 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly, the topping will be golden brown.


Storage options for Gratin of White Beans with Cream and Fresh Tomatoes. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. The crumb topping will soften, you may reheat and then crisp the crumb topping under the broiler if desired. 

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Would you like to comment?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Delete
  5. This looks economical and delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, it is those things and more. Creamy and mild it is a wonderful side dish.

      Delete
  6. This sounds delicious. I'm not normally a fan of bean dishes but I bet the family would love this one. Pinned.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Beans do make a good vegetarian main dish.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. This Bean cassoulet sounds great! More beans in our diet, yes! All for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even bean naysayers enjoy this one! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

      Delete
  9. I have white beans ready to go. I just need some cream now. I am so excited about this recipe! Pinned and printed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love the fresh tomatoes! Thanks so much for sharing at the Lazy Gastronome's What's for Dinner party! Have a fabulous weekend and hope to see you on Sunday!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I love beans! Thanks for sharing at the Meatless Monday party. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete

Comments always appreciated, at Scratch Made Food! Thank you for stopping by!