Wednesday, August 04, 2010

White Bean Gratin

A gave me
The Greens Cookbook a while back, and I am sorry to say that I haven't used it all that much. These are recipes from Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, which is famous for its innovative vegetarian cuisine. Unfortunately, I was traumatized by a mushroom lasagne recipe a few years ago that took over four hours to make. Fast forward to now and a list of things I'd like to accomplish in the next year - one of them is making one new recipe from each of the cookbooks I already own. So I found a recipe for haricot beans, since there's been a package of them in my cupboards for ages, and this is what resulted. It is a fantastic, creamy and rich dish - best served with some salad on the side.

White Bean Gratin
Adapted from The Greens Cookbook


350g haricot beans
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
15g butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
240ml single cream
6 stalks thyme leaves, picked
1 handful of chopped flat leaf parsley


Cook beans with bay leaves and 1 teaspoon salt using the 90 minute no-soak method. Drain and set aside. Melt the butter and add onion, carrot and celery, and cook over low heat for about 3 minutes. Add the cream and thyme leaves, bring to a boil and simmer for 1 minute. Then add the beans and cook until they are heated through. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. You can serve the dish like this, or continue on to make a gratin.

To make a gratin, put the bean mixture in a baking dish. If it looks dry, add a bit more water or cream. Toss 50g breadcrumbs (I used panko) with melted butter and press them over the top. Bake in a 220C / 425F oven until the top is browned and the beans are hot, about 20 minutes. Serve.

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