Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tuscan-Style White Bean Gratin

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...If you are tired of the New England or Southwestern versions of baked beans, you might want to give this riff on a Tuscan classic a try. The dish, which uses canned beans, comes together without fuss or bother and it is nice to serve with some of the plain grilled meats of summer. I particularly like these beans with plain grilled chicken or pork chops. While this quick version will never replace the classic white bean gratin, it is close enough to serve without embarrassment and it is a great side to serve with a sleepy summer meal. Try not to get carried away with the rosemary. It is pungent and particularly strong at this time of year and it will hijack the beans if you use too much of it. It is also important to remember that you are working with fully cooked beans that need only to be heated through. They will get mushy if you allow them to simmer for too long a time, so please adjust your times accordingly. This is a nice recipe to have in the hopper when you are looking for something a bit different to eat. It certainly delivers on flavor. Here is how the beans are made.

Tuscan-Style White Bean Gratin...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite inspired by America's Test Kitchen


3 (14.5-oz.) cans of cannellini beans
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1 (10.5-oz.) can condensed chicken broth, undiluted
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1) Move an oven rack to 6-inches below broiler element. Preheat broiler.
2) Rinse and drain beans. Place 1 cup of beans in a bowl and and mash until smooth with a fork or the back of a large spoon.
3) Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet until it shimmers. Add onion and cook over medium-high heat until soft and lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.
4) Stir in broth and bring to a simmer. Add mashed beans and stir until smooth. Add whole beans and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat. Sprinkle top of beans with Parmesan cheese.
5) Place pan under broiler element and broil until cheese bubbles and browns. Let cool slightly before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

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Catherine said...

Dear Mary, I love dishes such as this. Beautiful with a nice loaf of good bread and grated cheese. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

Ginny said...

Very high class baked beans! And prettier than regular ones, too.

Kim G. said...

Actually, I never think about beans for side dish! It's a shame... These beans looks really good and would be great with roasted chicken!

Anonymous said...

this sounds lovely, like nothing I have heard with beans, I will most definitely try this,

Angie Schneider said...

This is my kind of healthy comfort food, Mary.

Joanne said...

Beans and cheese...two of my favorite things!!

Susan said...

A beautiful, simple dish that I know we would love.

Gwen said...

Ohhhhh! This sounds so yummy! I've got to make this ASAP! I've never seen condensed chicken broth, I hope I can find some ;}

Pam said...

Perfect. I am always looking for ways to use my Rancho Gordo beans!

Rambling Tart said...

Oh my, Mary, this is one of my favorite things that you've posted. :-) I'm going to try to make a version of it this week. I can't eat cheese at the moment, but I will try a different sort of topping and that will be brilliant. :-)

Chris Scheuer said...

What a fun, delicious sounding twist on baked beans, love it Mary!

Big Dude said...

I'm a big fan of beans so I'am sure I'd love this dish.

David said...

Mary, I'm catching up on my blog we were up in Canada on a trip. I love the look and ingredients of this dish! We've never made or eaten any type of bean gratin...and it's time we started! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

Judy Gentry said...

This dish looks great. We do meatless Mondays and this would be perfect posited with a simple salad and some fruit for dessert.

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