We’ve been going back and forth from Brooklyn to Martha’s Vineyard a lot this fall. That has meant the constant juggling of refrigerator perishables and making sure our produce doesn’t go bad.
Even though we are going to the grocery store more than we did in March, it has also brought back some of the pantry swagger to my cooking game from early in quarantine. We’ve been stocking up on veggies that last for weeks, things like carrots and cabbage. And trying to use up as many things as we can that we stock piled in March.
If anyone else is still working their way through pounds of frozen kale, I see you.
Needless to say, this white bean tomato bake with cabbage, carrots and harissa speaks to all of these limitations. Which is why I made it not once, but TWICE in a week-long period.
Early in quarantine, like many of you on the interwebs, we fell hard for the New York Times’ cheesy white bean tomato bake. It was so simple and satisfying and infinitely riffable. We did a version with Mexican spices and black beans, and later a Moroccan version with chickpeas, harissa and cumin (minus the cheese).
This recipe is a mashup and begins with slowly sweating your carrots and cabbage stove-top. Instead of tomato paste (which you can totally use instead) I added a can of diced tomatoes and the harissa, followed by the white beans and, yes, half a bag of frozen kale. Though this recipe can easily be made vegan, I loved the addition of a pat of butter or ghee. It’s also great finished off in the oven with a few baked eggs in the center for a complete meal with a little more protein.
This is the ultimate kitchen sink recipe, so feel free to throw in whatever other veggies you have on hand. Leeks, scallions, and any manner of leafy greens would work well.
Even though there are a bunch of ingredients you wouldn’t think to use on a low FODMAP diet, you can adjust it by omitting the garlic and harissa, limiting the cabbage to 3 cups total and only using 1 cup of white beans. That, or just limit your serving to 1/8 of the current yield.
What have been your go-to pantry recipes lately? As much as I will miss summer produce, I’m excited to start braising and baking my veggies, using my freezer, and making sure I always have something warm and satisfying ready to go.
With health and hedonism,
White Bean Tomato Bake with Cabbage, Carrots and Harissa
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 medium carrots about ½ pound, thinly sliced on the bias
- 1 small head green cabbage 1 pound, thinly sliced
- 1 small garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspooon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- One 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup harissa
- One 15-ounce can cannellini or white beans
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee optional
- 1 bunch fresh kale finely chopped or 2 cups chopped frozen kale
- 4 large eggs optional
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the cabbage and carrots until softened and starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic, salt and paprika. Continue to cook for a few minutes, until fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes and harissa, scraping up any brown bits that may have formed. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have released some moisture and begun to soften. Fold in the white beans, butter or ghee, if using, and the kale. Cook for a few more minutes, until the greens have wilted but are still vibrant.
For the eggs, if using: with your spoon, create 4 wells in the bean mixture and crack the eggs into each one. Cover the pan and simmer until the whites are set but the yolks are still giggly, about 6 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and serve immediately.