The NY Times published a list of their 21 most popular recipes on Instagram. One was for a Cheesy White Bean-Tomato Bake, a SUPER SIMPLE recipe that takes less than 15 minutes to prep and only 25 minutes total. Loving the idea of it, we decided to make it our own.
In our version, we added kale to make it a main dish for Cindy (vegetarian) and a side dish for Eric (omnivore with vegetarian leanings), our Tikka Masala spice blend to lend a little smoky goodness, and pepper jack cheese (ignore the bag of cheese in the photo...although, the Mexican cheese works just fine as well) to give it a little kick. (This dish would also be delish with our Ras El Hanout blend with mozzarella cheese.)
Shopping List & Prep
5 oz. box baby kale or spinach (about 1/2 pound if you use fresh, stems removed and chopped into ribbons)
3 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed —OR— 1 1/2 C dried beans, soaked overnight and cooked until tender*
1 TBSP Masi Masa Tikka Masala Spice Blend —or— salt & pepper to taste
3 TBSP tomato paste (get the paste in the tube to avoid waste!)
~1 1/3 C (~1/3 lb) shredded pepper jack cheese**
¼ C ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
*You can also use two cans of white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern. And if you want to use dried beans, soak and pre-cook them before adding to recipe (you’re only putting this in the over long enough to heat the beans and melt the cheese).
**You can also use mozzarella or regular jack cheese, just make sure it’s full fat so it will melt properly.
Heat the oven to 475 degrees.
In a 10-inch ovenproof skillet, heat 1/4 C ghee or olive oil over medium-high heat.
Fry the garlic until it's lightly golden, about 1 minute.
Stir in the tomato paste — be careful of splattering — and fry for 30 seconds, reducing the heat as needed to prevent the garlic from burning.
Stir in 1 TBSP Masi Masa Tikka Masala Spice Blend and 1/2 cup hot or boiling water.
Add kale and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3-5 minutes (you may have to add it in batches)
Add the beans and and stir to combine.
If you are not using Tikka Masala spice blend (or if you like things a little saltier), add salt and pepper tp taste.
Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, making sure to get it to the edges.
Bake until the cheese has melted and browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. If the top is not as toasted as you’d like, run the skillet under the broiler for a minute or 2. Serve at once with naan or, if you’re feeling healthy, a green salad.
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