Hello again! Yes, we have been on an almost month long hiatus. It was not intentional. In fact, the three of us discussed how we wanted to avoid the post-Christmas silence this year. Obviously that fell through.
But honestly, we really enjoyed our break. This Christmas was an especially peaceful, relaxing, and enjoyable one for each of us. Planning and prepping paid off and left us enjoying the actual day. Our children received their gifts with grace and enthusiasm. We were able to focus on our Christmas dinners without stress, largely due to having knocked out dessert with the 12 Days of Cookies. (WIN!) The joy of the day carried over into the season and now as it nears its close, we realize it is time to step back into the normal pace of life.
And what better way to do so than introducing this recipe: an amazingly unassuming dinner that is surprisingly scrumptious. Simple white beans get a makeover with smoked paprika (which makes it seem like there’s meat hidden somewhere in the dish), balsamic, and tomatoes. Baked to thick, saucy deliciousness, its fragrance becomes maddening. This is a budget friendly meal that’s won a more regular spot on our table and makes a perfect return to routine after the holiday feasting.
Beans on Toast
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 cans (14oz) cannellini beans (or make your own! so much tastier, and a crockpot makes so, so easy)
1 can (14oz) tomato sauce (pureed tomatoes would work too or even whole ones)
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
Tabasco sauce (optional)
4-8 Thick slices of bread, toasted
Preheat oven to 325.
Heat a healthy glug of olive oil over low heat in a shallow, oven proof pan (a 9-10 inch cast iron skillet is great here). Add onions, garlic, and paprika and cook for 10-15 min, stirring frequently, until soft and sticky.
Add balsamic, stir, and let reduce and really soak into the onion mixture.
Drain most but not all of the liquid from the beans, then add them to the pan along with the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and optional dash of tabasco. Stir, season to taste, and cook for 5 min more.
Grab a sheet of parchment paper large enough to cover the pan. Scrunch it up (to make it more malleable) then smooth it out and place on top of the beans, gently pressing down to seal and fully cover.
Transfer pan to oven and cook for 50-60 minutes, or until fragrant and thick. (It will thicken as it sits too!)
Serve spooned on top of a crusty slice of bread. Grate or slice cheese to top and add some greens on the side to make it a meal. Enjoy!
Adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Comfort Food.