First I will tell you that I meant to make Deb Perelman's Pizza Beans. This Smitten Kitchen recipe has been one of the most talked-about and produced recipes I've ever known. Members of our Bean Club make it constantly and collectively they've made it a classic. I have to admit that I've never made it.
Last weekend I was determined to try it, especially knowing that I had a batch of Royal Corona beans sitting in my fridge. I dutifully printed out Deb's recipe and bought the needed ingredients at my grocery store.
As it turns out, we suffered an immense heatwave and some weekends are for fun in the kitchen and some weekends are for not moving much off the couch. You can guess where I'm going here.
If you make my version and you like it, please let's give credit to Smitten Kitchen. If not, it's all my fault for being lazy. Actually, it would be hard to fault either version.
Another wonderful aspect of this dish was that the ingredients were mostly leftovers. I had made the beans the day before. The cherry tomatoes were left from my CSA delivery and the jar of Trader Joe's roasted red peppers was opened for a "session" of goat cheese and Ak-Mak crackers earlier in the week. I bought the mozzarella to make Deb's version (I normally buy the wet, fresh kind) but the parma was already on hand in the fridge. Sometimes it pays to lack ambition.
This was perfect with a green salad. Carb-shy friends who miss pizza will especially appreciate this meal.
Summer Heirloom Bean Casserole
2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped roughly
4 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped and stems discarded
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup mozzarella cheese (low moisture, not fresh), grated
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 475F. Mix the beans, tomatoes, peppers, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil together and pour into an oven-safe casserole. Top with the two kinds of cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes. The top should be browned and the beans bubbling.
Note: If you have a larger casserole, you may need additional cheese to cover the whole dish. I don't think many will complain about extra cheese.