Thursday, 25 March 2010

Baked Beans with Cabbage

This turned out to be more like a baked soup or stew rather than traditional baked beans, but nothing wrong with that. I made these fairly mild on purpose; I was in the mood for something quite plain. You can certainly up the seasonings if you like. I think a little hot dried chile and fennel seeds would be nice, for example.

My Mom was here for lunch and commented that I've been posting a lot of cabbage dishes lately. What can I say? 'Tis the season. Still. And for a while yet, I'm afraid, although we do have some nice spinach in the garden! This was spinach we planted last year in the fall. Half of it was left in an open bed and half of it was covered by a cold-frame. The spinach in the cold-frame, not too surprisingly, looks much larger and healthier. So we should have a few meals of fresh spinach coming up soon. Not sure I can post them with a clear conscience though; where is anyone else going to get fresh local spinach this early? Beans and cabbage it is then.

6 to 8 servings
1/2 hour prep time - 1 1/2 hours baking time - plus time to cook the beans

Baked Beans with Cabbage
Cook the Beans:
500 grams (1 pound) dried white beans

Put the beans in a large pot with water to cover them generously. Bring them to a boil, then turn them off and let them soak for several hours. Repeat 2 or 3 more times, until the beans are fairly tender. Obviously, this needs to be done the day before you finish the dish.

Bake the Beans:
3 cups chopped green cabbage
1 large leek
OR 2 medium onions
1 large carrot
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
3 cups crushed or diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons rubbed thyme
1/2 teaspoon rosemary

Chop the cabbage. Trim the leek or onions, and chop. If using leeks they should be rinsed and drained to remove any grit hiding in them. Peel and chop the carrot fairly finely. Peel and mince the garlic; keep it separate from the other vegetables.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook down the cabbage, onions and carrots, over medium heat since the leeks scorch fairly easily and browned cabbage isn't really a treat. When the vegetables are soft and slightly browned, mix them with the drained beans in a large casserole dish. Stir in the tomatoes and the seasonings. Add some bean cooking water if necessary, to raise the level of the liquid so that it looks like the top layer of beans etc are floating.

Put the beans in the oven and heat to 350°F. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Last year at this time I made Aunt Alethea's Cheese Soufflé and Cucumber & Carrot Salad.


Joanne said...

I love a nice hearty dish of baked beans. they are definite comfort food!

And post the spinach dishes! I haven't had it in a while and need some inspiration for new dishes :P

Ferdzy said...

Fresh spinach is going to be such a treat we may just rinse the stuff off and eat it, but we'll see! We'll also have to see if it survives this cold snap first... -10°C, URGH! March sux.