Braised White Beans and Leeks

Things have been quiet for me, I've been cooking but not making any memorable dishes, that is until this one. The beans are creamy and luscious from the leeks and herbs melding slowly together for hours in the oven. Then when the beans are perfectly cooked the oven temperature is raised, cheese added then melted and browned in spots. I just adore white beans and this recipe is magic. Recipe is from my new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte and made almost exactly as it was written.


1 pound dried white beans
3 large leeks (sliced thin)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 large celery stalks (sliced thin)
4 cloves of garlic (grated)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 teaspoons herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

To prepare:

Soak the beans 8 hours or overnight if possible. Preheat oven to 225°.

Trim leeks, discarding the tough green tops, halve vertically, then rinse every layer to clean out the soil. Slice into thin half circles. In heavy soup pot, add a tablespoon or so of the olive oil, leeks, garlic and celery and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the beans, thyme, herbes de Provence, red pepper flakes to taste, 3/4 teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Stir in vegetable broth and 1/2 cup of water and bring the mixture back up to a gentle boil. Cover the pot and place in oven. Check occasionally to make sure pot is never dry and add water in 1/2 cup increments. Cook until beans are soft throughout about 3 to 4 hours. (Cooking time may vary due to freshness of beans. The fresher the beans the shorter the cooking time.)

Remove the pot from oven, raise the oven temperature to 500°. Sprinkle the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of bean mixture and return to oven, leaving off lid. You want the cheese melted and completely browned in spots about 10 minutes or so. Enjoy!


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