Saturday, November 17, 2012

Weekend Cooking: White Bean Casserole

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, this is the weekend to look for recipes and inspiration.  This isn't a traditional Thanksgiving dish, but it is sometimes good to have a vegetarian option for those who forgo turkey.

This recipe didn't come from a book, it came from my head. But since I invented it for Book Club, that is connection enough for me to post it today as part of Weekend Cooking.

The Book Club ladies all raved and asked me to type up the recipe, so I am going to take them at their word. I think it is yummy.


NOTE: This serves four as a side dish, or two hungry people for dinner. Multiply accordingly. 

one 14oz can artichoke hearts, chopped in 1/2" or so pieces
one 14oz can little white beans, drained and rinsed
one 14oc can diced tomatoes, with juice
two whole eggs, beaten with a fork
1/2 cup ricotta, or 1/2 cup grated soft white cheese
1 Tbsp. or so dried Italian herbs (parsley, oregano, basil)
1 big garlic clove, crushed
salt & pepper to taste*
8oz or so sliced mozzarella, or other soft melting cheese
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, or other dry bread crumbs
good olive oil
hot sauce

Mix the canned ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs and ricotta with a fork until well blended. Mix the herbs, garlic, salt and pepper into the egg mixture. Add mixture to canned ingredients and stir well to mix.

Butter an 8" soufflé dish or other deep casserole dish. Spread half the casserole mix in the dish. Sprinkle a thorough layer of panko over the mix – enough to coat but not more than 1/4" deep. Layer half the mozzarella over the panko. Spread the other half of the casserole mix on top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle on another layer of panko. Layer the other half of the mozzarella on top. Finish with a little sprinkle of panko, mixed with some chopped parsley if you feel fancy.

Bake in a 350 oven for a about an hour, or until it is very hot in the middle and bubbly on the top. Reheats very well. Serve with olive oil for drizzling and hot sauce.

* Whether you need to add any salt at all depends on how salty the cheese is and the canned ingredients. 


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