Italian-Style White Beans w/ Fennel & Tomatoes
Summer wether is officially here in Florida. Technically speaking, according to the calendar I know we have almost a full month until its officially summer, but I’ve been in the mood to grill lately. And with grilling brings on the desire to eat lighter. I decided to whip up a quick Italian-Style white bean dish to go along with our Grilled Italian Sausage with grilled sweet peppers. This is a lighter dish and complimented the grilled meat and veggies perfectly.
I was inspired to make this dish from a cassoulet I made a few years back. It was the perfect cassoulet for a cold winters day and was hearty. Why not make a stove top version of the beans used in the cassoulet to compliment my light and summery meal? This was our main “starch” for the meal and to be honest I didn’t miss rice or pasta or potatoes with this meal.
The fennel adds a nice punch to the dish. If you aren’t familiar with cooking with fennel you need to go out and buy a bulb of fennel stat. I’ve never consumed this root vegetable raw–only well cooked in olive oil or butter. It may look like a lot when you chop it up, but once you’ve sweated it out and sauteed it in oil it reduces down to less than half. As you might be able to tell it resembles the look of celery at times but has a slight anise taste (like licorice). If you’re looking to try a new side dish and break out of the routine of serving the same side dish every night I dare you to try this recipe!
Source: Katie Original
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 bulb of Fennel, thinly sliced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cans of Great Northern White Beans
- 1/2 pint of grape tomatoes
- 1/4 cup basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- cracked black pepper to taste
- In a large pot add olive oil and bring the pot to high heat. Add the thinly sliced fennel and begin sauteing. Add 1 cup of chicken broth and bring the heat down to medium-high heat placing a lid on top of the pot and letting cook for 10 minutes *check occasionally and stir to make sure fennel is not burning and/or sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- After the 10 minutes add chopped garlic and onions to the pot, stir well. Add the remaining 1 cup of chicken broth, stir, reduce heat to medium, and place lid back on the pot cooking for an additional 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
- Add the 2 cans of white beans (do not drain--add the liquid), mix well, and then add the grape tomatoes. Place the lid back on the beans and simmer on low for 5 minutes.
- Stir in chopped basil and parsley, and season with cracked black pepper. Mix well, and serve.
*Do not add salt to this dish. The salt is taken care of thanks to the chicken broth added.