Recipe: Baked White Beans with Herbed Breadcrumbs

If you’re planning a warming winter dinner for people who don’t eat meat, this multi-textured bake is a great option, served with something green on the side.

Words: Lucy Corry  Styling & photos: Carolyn Robertson

These beans can be prepared in advance and chilled. Bring them to room temperature before topping with the crumbs and baking as directed.

Serves: 6


For the base:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
¾ cup white wine
1 cup vegetable stock
3 x 390g tins cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
10cm sprig fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (omit if making for vegetarians or vegans)

For the herbed breadcrumbs:
about 120g stale bread (a few handfuls of crusts and bread bits)
1 clove garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh parsley, loosely packed
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil


Put a large, heavy pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and cook for 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened.

Pour in the wine, stock and worcestershire sauce, stirring constantly. Add the beans and rosemary. Bring to a simmer, then cover and lower the heat. Simmer very gently for 35 minutes, until beans are tender.

Make the crumbs while the beans are cooking. Put the bread, garlic and parsley in a food processor and process to rough crumbs. Add the lemon zest and process again. Keep the motor running and drizzle in the oil. Whiz briefly, then set aside.

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Heat the oven to 200°C. Pour the beans into a greased ovenproof gratin dish. Cover with the breadcrumbs, pressing them down gently.

Bake for 25 minutes, until the beans are hot, and the crumbs are golden. Let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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