WHITE BEAN GRATIN
Sunset/December 2011 – Roast Ready by Kate Washington
Serves well with Garlic Rubbed Tri Tip and Mint Caper Salsa
- 3 cups dried cannellini beans
- 2 About 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- 2 oz piece slab bacon (or 2 oz thick cut regular bacon)
- 4 large garlic cloves, plus 1 tsp finely chopped garlic
- 1 large sage sprigs, plus 2 tsp finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp pepper, divided
- 1 tblsp kosher salt
- 6 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tblsp lemon zest
- 1 cup panko
Put beans in a large pot and cover with 1 inch cold water. Bring to a boil; turn off heat and let beans sit, covered, 1 hour. Drain and return to pot. Add 2 cups chicken broth, 7 cups water, the onion, bacon, crushed garlic, sage sprigs, bay leaves, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered about 1 hour, or until beans are just tender.
Preheat oven to 375. Add salt and cook beans until soft but not falling apart, 20-30 minutes.
Discard bacon, sage sprigs, and bay leaves. Drain beans into a colander set over a bowl; reserve liquid. Pour beans back into pot.
Blend 2 cups beans, ½ cup bean liquid, and ¼ cup oil in a blender until smooth. Stir puree into beans along with chopped garlic and sage, rosemary, and remaining ½ teaspoon pepper. Pour beans into 3 quart gratin dish and add enough bean liquid to just cover beans (if you have liquid left, save for soup; if you don’t have enough, use more broth).
Bake until top is starting to set, 25 minutes. Mix zest panko, and remaining oil in a bowl. Sprinkle over beans and bake until bubbly and browned and liquid has thickened, 30 minutes.