Straight from the can, it's hard to make the case for the humble bean. But add a bit of this, a lot of that, and suddenly an economical bean dish is a deliciously trendy one-pot wonder.
White Beans Provencal, with the flavor-rich base of a classic mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots), herbs of Provence, fresh rosemary, thyme, garlic and white wine, is the perfect side, main course, or fabulously healthy lunch. Serve with roasted lamb, meaty cuts of lemon-and-oregano-marinated swordfish, or simply with love.
White Beans Provencal
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, trimmed and finely diced
1 large carrot, scraped and finely diced
Coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 mild Italian sausages, pork or turkey, removed from casings
2 (14-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained
14-ounce can finely diced tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon herbs of Provence, or more, to taste
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon lemon thyme leaves, stripped from stalk
Best quality extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly shaved Parmesan, to serve
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Add onion, celery and carrot when oil is shimmering. Season with salt and black pepper.
When vegetables are softened, stir in fresh garlic. Crumble sausage into pan, stirring to brown. Add beans, tomatoes, wine, herbs of Provence, rosemary and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Serve in with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.
Diva Confession: Get the most from a lemon by zesting the peel before you squeeze. Using a fine grater or lemon zester, zest only the colorful layer of the lemon peel, avoiding the bitter white pith. The zest adds gorgeous color, along with another layer of lemony yum to your favorite recipes.