Baked white beans with caramelized onions [Vegetarian]
When I read the ingredients for this recipe my thought was, "That... that's it? Just that?" Indeed the ingredients list is surprisingly short and you wonder where the flavor comes from. But the secret is in how you cook the onions: until they're caramelized. Slowly cooking them in plenty of olive oil until they are a lovely golden brown brings out the sweetness, which adds so much to this casserole. I added a hearty amount of black pepper as well, to bring some spice to the sweetness, but that was my only change.
We preferred this more as a side to a larger meal, than as a main dish because as delicious as it is, it's not the star of a meal but more of a lovely accent. But, you can't beat how simple and easy it is to create.
More on The Cooking Project.
My husband rode off on his bike yesterday to the dentist to get his teeth cleaned and came home with his mouth full of gauze and unexpectedly minus a tooth. It was too late to make him congee, which is what he really wanted, so I'll make that today for lunch for him. It turned out he was fine eating the dinner I had planned, an onion bean bake. The onions were soft and the beans were tender and he just mushed it up and bit and it worked out fine.This is one of those dishes that you can make from your pantry without having to head out to the store. Onions, beans and cheddar cheese are things that I always have on hand, so this was simple for me. It takes a bit of time, because the onions have to cook on top of the stove for awhile to get soft and sweet, and slightly brown, and then you bake it for 25 minutes, but it was worth the wait. It made for a really tasty, comforting, homey kind of dish, which I'm sure my husband needed, and it made the house smell great. The recipe serves four, so I cut it in half.
Onion and White Bean Bake
5 onions, sliced into half moons
4 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
3 cans white beans (400g / 14oz, each), drained
1/2 cup vegetable stock
150g (5oz) grated cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Heat a generous glug of olive oil and a large frying pan or skillet and cook onion, stirring occasionally over a medium heat until onion is melting and deep golden. Add more oil as you need it. Will take about 25 minutes.
3. Add thyme to onion and season.
4. In a medium heatproof dish layer about a third of the onions. Add half the beans and a little cheese. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used, finishing with the cheese. Pour the stock over and season.
5. Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.