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French Onion White Bean Bake

by , featured in Bold Beans
Published by Kyle Books
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Introduction

Whip out this hearty, veggie, one-pot dish as the autumnal season is approaching. It's one of those meals that is super simple and has minimal ingredients, but offers guaranteed satisfaction and heartiness.

Whip out this hearty, veggie, one-pot dish as the autumnal season is approaching. It's one of those meals that is super simple and has minimal ingredients, but offers guaranteed satisfaction and heartiness.

Image of Bold Beans' French Onion White Bean Bake
Photo by Joe Woodhouse

Ingredients

Serves: 3

Metric Cups
  • 30 grams salted butter
  • 1 large white onion (white onions are sweeter, but brown onions will also work), thinly sliced
  • small handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 700 grams jar white beans with their bean stock OR 2 × 400g (14oz) cans white beans, drained, with 200ml/7fl oz veg or chicken stock
  • 70 grams Gruyere cheese coarsely grated (or Comté, or a mix of 50g (1¾oz) mature Cheddar and 30g (1oz) Parmesan or Pecorino)
  • 50 grams crispy breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil, to top (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce salted butter
  • 1 large white onion (white onions are sweeter, but brown onions will also work), thinly sliced
  • small handful of thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • 1lb 9 ounces jar white beans with their bean stock OR 2 × 400g (14oz) cans white beans, drained, with 200ml/7fl oz veg or chicken stock
  • 2½ ounces Gruyere cheese coarsely grated (or Comté, or a mix of 50g (1¾oz) mature Cheddar and 30g (1oz) Parmesan or Pecorino)
  • 1¾ ounces crispy breadcrumbs mixed with 1 tablespoon olive oil, to top (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Please note that nigella.com is not able to accept responsibility for any substitutions that Ocado may need to make as a result of stock availability or otherwise. For any queries, head to ocado.com/customercare.

Feel free to use the “swap” feature and adjust brands and quantities as needed.

Method

French Onion White Bean Bake is a guest recipe by Amelia Christie-Miller so we are not able to answer questions regarding this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish over a medium–high heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onions are softened.
  3. Remove the lid and add the thyme. Continue to cook for another 10–15 minutes. As they cook and browned bits appear, add a tablespoon or so of water and stir to combine. Once evaporated, add another tablespoon and repeat; this prevents the onions from burning and speeds the process up. You want them to be jammy and a deep golden brown. (If you can caramelise the onions for even longer, go for it: the darker their colour, the sweeter their flavour.)
  4. Next, add the vinegar and stir until evaporated, then add the beans with their bean or veg or chicken stock. Season to taste and bring to the boil for a minute. If using canned beans, you may need to add more salt; bring to a simmer and cook for a further 6–8 minutes to allow the beans to soften.
  5. Reduce the heat slightly, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, followed by the breadcrumbs (if using), especially around the edges (this will give you delicious crispy bits).
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for roughly 8–10 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned in places. If the top is not as toasted as you’d like, bake for another minute or two. Serve and tuck in.
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas mark 6.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium-sized ovenproof saucepan or casserole dish over a medium–high heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the onions are softened.
  3. Remove the lid and add the thyme. Continue to cook for another 10–15 minutes. As they cook and browned bits appear, add a tablespoon or so of water and stir to combine. Once evaporated, add another tablespoon and repeat; this prevents the onions from burning and speeds the process up. You want them to be jammy and a deep golden brown. (If you can caramelise the onions for even longer, go for it: the darker their colour, the sweeter their flavour.)
  4. Next, add the vinegar and stir until evaporated, then add the beans with their bean or veg or chicken stock. Season to taste and bring to the boil for a minute. If using canned beans, you may need to add more salt; bring to a simmer and cook for a further 6–8 minutes to allow the beans to soften.
  5. Reduce the heat slightly, then sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top, followed by the breadcrumbs (if using), especially around the edges (this will give you delicious crispy bits).
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for roughly 8–10 minutes until the cheese has melted and browned in places. If the top is not as toasted as you’d like, bake for another minute or two. Serve and tuck in.

Additional Information

NOTE FROM NIGELLA.COM:
For gluten-free, omit the optional breadcrumbs.
For vegetarian, seek out vegetarian-friendly versions of the cheeses.

NOTE FROM NIGELLA.COM:
For gluten-free, omit the optional breadcrumbs.
For vegetarian, seek out vegetarian-friendly versions of the cheeses.

Tell us what you think

What 1 Other has said

  • I'm certainly going to try this, but one thing I won't be doing is putting the oven on right at the start as the recipe suggests. The onions will certainly take more than 15-20 minutes to cook down properly while the oven is wasting electricity...and yet it is only needed for 10-15 minutes cooking at the end - doesn't make sense. I'll be turning the oven on half way through my prep.

    Posted by Finsgranny on 25th August 2023
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