Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What's for Dinner?

White Bean Ragout with Toast

photo by Joy Newman

It might seem strange that I'm posting such a warm dish in this weather, but we all know the coastal fog that frequently comes with warmer weather. This would be a perfect warm, satisfying meal in foggy weather.  Now, at the risk of sounding like a braggart, I can't really speak to the ease of preparing this dish since my husband made it for dinner. However, I can attest to the deliciousness present in my bowl!  We decided to change the recipe a little to use chicken broth instead of vegetable broth (so this is actually a vegetarian recipe in its original form) and to add more of the soffrito (a Italian mix of aromatics.)  Be sure and use good bread, too.  The recipe looks a little long, but it doesn't involve complicated cooking techniques.  Bon Appetit!

White Bean Ragout with Toast
Bon Appetit, May 2012
4-6 servings

3 medium onions, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c olive oil, plus more
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, 3 finely ground, 1 halved
2 t tomato paste
4-6 1" slices grilled or toasted ciabatta
8-10 T finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1-15 oz. cans cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
4 c chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
2 T chopped Italian parsley

1.  Pulse onions in a food processor until finely chopped but not pureed (it should be about 2 cups).  Transfer to a medium bowl. Pulse bell pepper in processor until finely chopped but no pureed (should be about 1 cup).  Add to the onions and mix well.

2. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add onion mixture and season with salt and pepper.  Simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are completely softened, about 30 minutes. Add finely grated garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until tomato paste begins to turn deep red, about 3 minutes.  Measure 1/2 c (we used 1 1/2 c) and set aside; reserve skillet. Transfer remaining soffrito to a container and let cool completely.  Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

3. Preheat oven to 375 (if using oven to toast bread). Rub bread slices with cut sides of a garlic clove.  Place bread on a baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 T of Parmesan over each slice.  Toast until cheese beings to brown.

4.  Heat reserved soffrito and beans in same skillet over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in 3 c broth and bring to a boil. Simmer, scraping up any browned bits, until liquid is slightly thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Add tomatoes and remaining 1 c broth; simmer until tomatoes are tender, 3-4 minutes.  Stir in 2 T Parmesan and season with salt and pepper.

5.  Divide bread among shallow bowls. Top with some bean mixture and broth. Garnish with remaining 2 T Parmesan and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Yum! Hoping to try this recipe soon. Thanks for sharing!