Braised Celery and White Beans
- 6 ounces bacon 1/2" dice
- 1 large shallot quartered and sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups celery 1/2 slices
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup canned tomato juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
- 1 24 ounce can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped
- 1 tsp fresh oregano chopped
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp course black pepper
- 1 cup grated gruyere cheese
- Preheat oven to 350℉. In a large sauté pan, cook bacon until just starting to crisp and most of the fat has rendered. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined plate using a slotted spatula. Reserve approximately 2 tbsp of bacon fat in pan.
- Over medium heat, add sliced shallots and garlic to bacon fat and sauté for 1-2 minutes until the shallots are starting to soften. Add celery and sauté for an additional 2 minutes.
- Stir in broth and allow to simmer over medium low heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk cornstarch into canned tomato juice until dissolved. Add to pan along with canned tomatoes. Heat until mixture comes to a simmer and thickens. Stir in cannelloni beans, smoked paprika, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
- Divide equally between 4 individual coquette dishes or ramekins. Place on a large baking sheet and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Top each with 1/4 cup of grated cheese and broil until cheese has melted and is golden. Serve with crusty bread if desired.