CONTEST MAIN DISH: Vegetarian Baked Beans

Reply Tue 26 Aug, 2003 11:15 am
Adapted by BumbleBeeBoogie

1 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup dried cannelini beans
1/2 cup dried Great Northern beans
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted
1/2 cup chunky-crushed canned tomatoes, including the juice
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 bay leaf
zest of 1 orange, minced
juice of the zested orange
1/2 tablespoon coarsely ground (or crushed) black peppercorns
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
4 ripe plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups canned vegetable stock
1/4 cup cider vinegar
salt, to taste

Rinse the beans and place them in a bowl. Cover with cold water by 2 inches; add the thyme. Soak overnight, or at least 4 hours.

Heat a heavy 2- to 3-quart casserole; add the olive oil. Saute the onion and carrot for about 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the carrot is soft. Add and stir in the ground pepper, garlic and cumin seeds; cook a few minutes longer.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Drain, rinse and drain again the beans; add them to the casserole. Add and stir in the canned tomatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, bay, orange zest and juice, pepper, cilantro (reserve some for garnish) and the vegetable stock. Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 1 hour.

Remove the casserole from the oven; add and stir in 3 of the chopped fresh plum tomatoes, cider vinegar and salt. Return the covered casserole to the oven; bake 1 hour longer until liquid has been absorbed, but the beans are still moist.

Adjust seasoning - salt and pepper, and up to 2 more tablespoons of the vinegar. Garnish with additional cilantro and snipped fresh thyme and the one remaining chopped fresh tomato.
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