Creamy Braised White Beans from NYT Cooking is a satisfying dish with just the right amount of comfort for a mid- meal. Sometimes to my surprise, I do have everything in my kitchen to whip up a quick meal. Making more vegetarian dishes these days means beans and lentils are always at the ready. Just a quick pop to the local bakery for fresh crusty bread.
Note: I should have simmered the dish a bit longer to really get the garlic to soften. It would have created a smoother spread for the bread. I also recommend mashing the garlic with a bit of olive oil, salt & pepper and a dash of chili peppers for a little extra zing. Served with a fresh herby salad.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid
- 1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
- 1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves or 1 bay leaf
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, allspice or garam masala
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 slices crusty bread or thick toast
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
- Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
- Aleppo pepper or red-pepper flakes, for serving
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the milk, chickpeas and their liquid, white beans, thyme and nutmeg and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan (you don’t want it to come to a full boil), reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and tastes great to you, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Use a fork to remove the garlic halves from the beans. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use the fork to remove the cloves from the skins. Spread the cloves on bread or toast.
- If you would like the beans to be more stew-like, mash some of the beans using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Serve beans and milk in bowls. Garnish as you wish, with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a pinch of Aleppo pepper and black pepper. Serve with the bread alongside for dipping.