It's not fall yet

Sunday, September 13, 2020


It's not fall yet. 

I keep repeating that to myself, like a mantra. The sun is shining, it's warm(ish) outside, it's still summer ... it's not fall yet.

So trust me, I'm not trying to invite cold weather by posting a recipe for comfort food (even though it would make a hearty meal in November, or even - dare I say - February). We enjoyed this white bean bake at least once this summer and several times in the spring. 

It's the simplest recipe you can imagine, but when partnered with salad and a baguette, it makes a perfect meal. Even better, it's based on the pandemic basics (white beans, tomato paste, olive oil) most of us have in the cupboard these days. In fact, I found it when the New York Times posted a roundup of pantry-type recipes. Lots of good food ideas, but this one was the clear winner.

No matter what time of year you eat it.

Cheesy White Bean-Tomato Bake

(from The New York Times)

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 generous Tbsp tomato paste

30 ounces white beans (either two 15-ounce cans or about 1 ½ 19-ounce cans), drained and rinsed

1/2 cup boiling water

Kosher salt and black pepper

1/3 pound mozzarella, coarsely grated (about 1 1/3 cups)




Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Fry the garlic until it’s lightly golden, about 1 minute. Store in the tomato paste (be careful of splattering) and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.


Add beans, water, and generous pinches of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer to a Pyrex baking dish and sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, then bake until cheese has melted and browed in spots, about 10 minutes.