Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes

(Photo © 2009 by Robin.)

For Christmas I received a copy of Mark Bittman’s  How to Cook Everything Vegetarian: Simple Meatless Recipes for Great Food.  It was high up on my wish list and I was thrilled to find it under the tree.  (Thank you, C & B!)

Yesterday a friend, who also has a copy of the book, excitedly suggested I turn to page 620 and make the Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes.  Because I happened to have everything I needed to make it (including fresh thyme), I decided to cook up some beans and see what all the excitement was about.

The recipe is very simple and very basic:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups cooked white beans, drained but still moist
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium russet or other high-starch (baking) potatoes or all-purpose potatoes, peeled
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Stir a tablespoon of the thyme into the beans, taste, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread the beans in a baking dish and set aside.

Halve the potatoes lengthwise and thinly slice into half circles.  Lay the potatoes in overlapping rows to cover the beans.  Pour the stock over the top, dot with pieces of butter, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.

Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue baking until the top is browned and glazed, another 45 minutes or so.  Serve immediately or let rest for up to an hour and serve at room temperature.

I used great northern beans (because I had them in the pantry).  In the book Bittman points out that you can use canned beans, but he doesn’t recommend it.  I started with dried beans, and used the quick soak and cook method.  The beans were ready in about three hours.  You can also use red or pink beans.

Obviously you will need to do a little planning ahead for this dish.  It’s well worth the time and effort.  The beans make it a hearty dish that works well as a main course.  Just serve with a salad and you have a full meal.

This is the first recipe I’ve used from the book.  I’m looking forward to many more happy meals from this “ultimate one-stop vegetarian cookbook.”

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4 Comments on “Boulangerie Beans and Potatoes”

  1. I swear I can smell it!!! Thanks 🙂

  2. English Nutter says:

    Ooh, thanks for posting this recipe. I really like the sound of it and want to try it. As soon as I figure out what northern beans are, lol! I guess I’ll try red beans – we have some that Him Outdoors grew and I dried them. I’ve been wanting to use them for something other than chilli con carne.

  3. krebiz says:

    oh good, you posted it! I was just about to for the English Nutter, but I’m glad I checked here first.

    Wasn’t it awesome?! The fresh thyme makes it just perfect. I used cannelini beans, although I suspect flageolet beans would be really nice too.

    I feel all puffed up and overly prideful that you made it right away and liked it, like I should get credit for the recipe lol

  4. ybonesy says:

    Thank you, thank you. This looks fabulous, and with the beans, it really is almost a self-contained meal. I’ve been looking for easy, yummy, nutritious recipes.


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