Sometimes you go through your pantry or refrigerator and see a bunch of stuff that you know you have to use or it will go bad. It’s been that way with me and all of these dried beans I realized I had. And since it’s summer, I also find myself with a steady influx of tomatoes.
I’m a whiz at utilitarian cooking. And I say that because it really doesn’t take much to be a whiz at utilitarian cooking. You basically just throw a bunch of stuff you have together and that’s it. And, usually, it works out better than any pre-meditated, planned, plotted, and plated dish you can conjure.
Okay, sometimes it doesn’t work out, but it usually does. I wouldn’t tell you about the stuff that doesn’t work out, anyway.
So, I cooked up a mess of Great Northern beans, added some fresh tomatoes from my mother’s garden, and got this: tomato-y white beans. It’s really simple, so I hope you give it a try.
Tomato-y White Beans
Makes about 6 servings.
1½ cups dried Great Northern beans
2 bay leaves
4 large garlic cloves
½ large onion, sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
¼ cup white wine
3 or 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Fresh herbs (whatever you have available)
Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water by about 3 inches. Cover and soak overnight.The next day, drain the beans and place them in a medium pot. Add water to cover by about 2 inches. Add the bay leaves. Smash two of the garlic cloves and add them to the pot, along with half the onion, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to low; partially cover the pot, and simmer until the beans are tender but still firm, about 45 minutes.Drain the beans in a colander and remove the bay leaves and garlic and discard. Finely chop the rest of the garlic.Heat the oil, in a wide pan. Add the rest of the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté one more minute. Add the wine and let it cook until it’s evaporated. Add the tomatoes, the rest of the salt, pepper and sauté 5 minutes.Add the beans, broth, and herbs (I had basil, savory, and parsley), and cook for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens.You’re ready to eat. Have it over rice, pasta, or with crusty bread.