But I had to make it. Anytime I come across a recipe with the word “gratin” in it, it must be made. I mean… it’s like a law of life. Or something. Sort of how you immediately follow the person on Twitter with like 78 kajillion followers, even though you have no idea who they are, because they *must* be popular. Maybe like how you are constantly tempted to click that big, giant X in the corner of your browser every time I bring up the same 1990s pop culture reference. Or maybe… just maybe… how you cringe the entire time watching Kenny Powers but can’t turn away because you secretly love the trainwreck that he is. So much.
See? Laws of life people. Learn them.
This original recipe called for the soaking and cooking of your dry white beans with lots of delicious spices and flavorings. Is flavorings a word? It is now. But I… didn’t really have time for that. In other words, I couldn’t be bothered. It’s unfortunate, since freshly cooked beans are my favorite, but I had more important things to do like catch that 90210 triple play (click the X now), brown some butter, and run out and buy an ice cream maker for the sole purpose of making strawberry cookie dough ice cream from joy’s book.
Ice cream for everyone!
But first, beans for everyone.
Don’t look at me that way.
Half of this mixture is pureed, making the entire dish incredibly creamy. Topped with the crunchity crunch crunch of panko and three different cheeses, I was tempted to eat the first layer alone. But then I’d miss all the… fun.
This was an awesome change up for a side dish, and something totally new-to-me. Sometimes you need that, you know? Newness: eat it tonight.
White Bean Gratin
[adapted from gourmet]
serves 4-6 as a side dish
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 cup freshly grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated fontina cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, combine cheeses with panko bread crumbs, then set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-2 heat. Add shallot with a sprinkle of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in 2 of the minced garlic cloves and cook for 30 seconds, then add in white beans and stir. Let beans heat for 3-4 minutes, then remove 2 cups of beans and place them in a blender. Add in stock, milk, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper, blending until totally smooth. Pour contents back into the skillet and stir to combine.
Spray a baking dish [mine was 6x10, but any dish you want is fine - round, square, etc] with nonstick spray. Scoop bean mixture into the dish and spread with a spatula to even out the top. Lay cheese and bread crumb mixture over top. Drizzle with remaining olive oil. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until top is golden and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Oh and you should probably pair it with a juicy filet. And wine. Lots. Duh.