Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beans and Tomato Casserole

There is a time and place for casseroles. For example, when you are taking food to a family with a new baby or because of an illness or death, casseroles are called for. They freeze well and only need to be popped in the oven. Casseroles also come in handy for evenings that you want to eat supper and be done or make supper ahead of time. While the casserole cooks, all the prep dishes are washed making after dinner chaos less so. With three kids, the casserole has a big draw. However, my husband does not love casseroles. I do. However, he'll tolerate them if it means he doesn't need to clean up the kitchen after supper (and he loves them if someone else makes them for us).

I needed to use up my tomatoes that have been ripening on my window sill (yes, I know it would have been much faster to ripen them in a paper bag, but then I wouldn't have been able to enjoy watching them ripen). I was going to use them for a fish recipe, but it turns out, I didn't have any fish in the freezer. I didn't want a recipe that was a lot of work, so I turned to Bittman, who has no problem at all with easy casseroles.

I enjoyed this recipe, Curtis tolerated it and M had nothing to do with it because apparently she doesn't like dishes that have cheese cooked into it or white beans now. J ate about his normal portion for supper. I will make this again and Curtis will enjoy having a clean kitchen the moment the dishes from the table are put away and the leftovers have gone into the fridge. This will make 4 servings as a main dish.

Bean and Tomato Casserole
adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman

4 c (2 15-oz cans) cooked beans (I used cannellini beans, but you could use whatever you had or a combination), drained and rinsed
4 tomatoes, sliced
1 lg onion, chopped
1 1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
2 T fresh oregano, chopped
1 t fresh thyme leaves

Saute onions in a little bit of oil in a pan until tender. In the bottom of a greased 2 qt casserole dish, put 1/2 the beans, followed by a layer of tomatoes, onions, and then a sprinkling of the herbs and cheese. Repeat. Bake in preheated 400 degrees oven for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and hot.

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