Gooey cheese and loads of flavors from the Basque region make this very simple meal a meatless Monday hit all winter long. I originally wrote this recipe to go with the Tolosa Beans we had from Boonville Barn Collective but they ended up all going to the Bean Club so everyone will have to wait till next year and hope for a bigger crop! Luckily the recipe works just as well with Oaxacan Black Beans, Black Tepary, Bayo or Eye of the Goat. Really any bean that holds its shape will work well so feel free to experiment!
Cook the beans using the method of your choice (pressure cooker, stovetop or slow cooker. See our definitive guide to cooking heirloom beans. Cooking them with a bayleaf and one clove of garlic will add more depth to the recipe but is not essential. Cooking the beans in SALTED WATER is absolutely essential to having creamy beans that retain their shape.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Sauté the shallots or onion in olive oil a 10" oven proof skillet or dutch oven until just soft. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant but not brown. Add the tomato paste and spices and sauté a minute longer until combined.
Drain the beans, reserving the liquid.
Add the beans and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Sprinkle the cheese on top evenly.
Bake just until the top is melted and starting to brown (5-10 minutes). If it is melted and you want more brown put it under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Do not leave it in the oven too long or the cheese will get oily. Serve immediately with some crusty bread and a salad.
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