By An Edible Mosaic
I used white beans and did my own version of a crunchy onion topping, made with a flavorful mixture of sautéed onion and breadcrumbs.
Actually, when I set out making this dish, I had my White Bean Chowder in mind as inspiration, and was trying to remake that soup into a side dish. Funnily enough, the end result tastes much less like that soup and much more like a classic French dish called Cassoulet. It's a rich and hearty, almost stew-like casserole; perhaps a bit unconventional for a Thanksgiving side, but it would be a delicious addition to a holiday dinner nonetheless.
Ingredients for the Crunchy Onion Topping:
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium-large onion, finely diced
¼ tsp dried thyme leaf
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ cup panko bread crumb
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
For the topping, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion and cook until softened but not browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, salt, black pepper, and garlic, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until light golden brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in the parsley; set aside for now.
Ingredients for the Casserole:
1 Tbsp butter, plus more to grease the dish
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 slices turkey bacon, finely diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
2 large stalks celery, diced
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried thyme leaf
¼ tsp dried crushed oregano
¼ tsp salt
⅛ tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 ½ Tbsp flour
2 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 Tbsp tomato paste
16 oz can no-salt-added cannellini beans or other white beans
For the casserole, heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the turkey bacon and cook until crispy, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn heat down to medium and add the onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper; cook until starting to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, thyme, oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute.
Add the stock, tomato paste, and beans and bring to a boil; turn heat down and simmer (uncovered) until the veggies are tender and the sauce is thickened, about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash a few of the beans against the side of the pot.
Preheat oven to 400F; grease an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with butter. Pour the bean mixture into the dish and top with the Crunchy Onion Topping; bake 10 minutes and serve hot.
To Reheat: Preheat oven to 350F; cover the dish with foil and bake until hot throughout, about 20 minutes.
Additional Serving Suggestion for Crunchy Onion Topping: Use as a topping for any casserole, or sprinkle on top of salad or soup in place of croutons.
Yield: 8 to 10 side dish servings, or 4 main-course servings
Read more from An Edible Mosaic.