Braised Flageolet Beans with Fennel, Leeks & Herb Gremolata
Flageolet beans—classically used in French cooking (they're the star ingredient in traditional Cassoulet, after all)—are known for their delicate flavor and supple, creamy texture. Cooked slowly with fennel, leeks and aromatics, these beans become a simple, yet stunning vegetarian main dish. Or they also are an equally delicious companion to meats of all kinds, from roasted chicken and pork loin to flame-kissed lamb chops.
Please note: The total cooking time does not include soaking the beans overnight.
Recipe by Asha Loupy
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 hours
- 1 1/2 cups dried Flageolet Beans from Rancho Gordo, picked through, soaked overnight and drained
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
- One large fennel bulb, fronds removed and cut into 8–10 wedges
- 2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 large garlic cloves, smashed
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- One Farcelette from E & A Gispert
- 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tarragon leaves, finely chopped
- Zest of 2 Meyer lemons (about 3–4 tablespoons)
- One large garlic clove, minced
To make the braised flageolet beans, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the fennel wedges, leeks, shallots and garlic. Sauté the vegetables until they begin to soften, about 4–5 minutes.
Add the white wine to the vegetables and continue to cook for another minute. Add the vegetable or chicken stock, farcelette, salt and the drained soaked beans and gently stir to combine making sure the beans are just submerged in the cooking liquid (add a little bit more stock or water, if necessary). Bring to a simmer, cover and transfer to the oven.
Bake the beans and vegetables, covered for an hour. Remove the lid, and continue to cook uncovered until the beans are cooked through and the cooking liquid has reduced slightly, about another 25–30 minutes.
While the beans are cooking, make the gremolata. In a small bowl, mix the chopped parsley, tarragon, lemon zest and minced garlic. Set aside until ready to serve.
Remove the beans from the oven and let them sit for 5–10 minutes at room temperature. To serve, transfer the braised beans and vegetables to a serving bowl and garnish with half of the herb gremolata plus a hearty pour of extra virgin olive oil. Serve the rest of the herb gremolata alongside the beans, so you and your guests can add to your own taste.