french ragoût beans

i would call this a quick-cook bean skillet rather than a “french ragoût,” but either way it made for a really quick and tasty dinner. b was quick to remind me that there was no meat in it and that we had gone two nights without eating meat (oh, the horror). we sit down to eat, first bite: “i thought there was going to be bacon in this…” and then: “this is good, but it would be even better with sausage.” and finally: “this would have been good cooked in lard.” lard?!

while i will admit that bacon or sausage… and, yes, even lard! would have definitely added depth to the flavor, the sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper and thyme didn’t do such a bad job themselves. meat or no meat, it was pretty darn good! especially served with a cool, crispy fresh caesar salad.

french ragoût beans
adapted (barely) from moosewood restaurant new classics
serves 3-4

1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups diced onions
3 large garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dry) i just threw in a few stems of fresh
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (i only had white wine vineger;  i used that)
2 15-oz cans white beans
plain or herbed goat cheese

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a heat-proof bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. set aside

heat the oil in a large skillet. add the onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes. add the bell peppers to the onions and continue to sauté for about 4 minutes.

remove the sun-dried tomatoes from the bowl and reserve the soaking liquid. squeeze out excess water from the sun-dried tomatoes, chop them and add them to the sauté. stir in half of the reserved soaking liquid, the thyme and vinegar. gently stir in the beans and cook over medium-low heat until heated through.

serve the beans topped with crumbled goat cheese. i added hot sauce, too.

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