Our friends over at T-Vine Winery are always cooking up delicious dishes to pair with their wines. This bean gratin is a favorite of winemaker Bertus and his wife, Ali and is a perfect weeknight (and meatless Monday!) option. Add a simple salad and pop open a bottle of Hill of Thunder, a Zinfandel, Primitivo and Barbera blend for the perfect pairing.
Flageolet Gratin, T-Vine Winery
2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Flageolet beans, strained, liquid reserved
5 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium fennel bulbs, outer layers removed, cored and thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon dried thyme
In a frying pan over medium heat, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the fennel, onion and garlic and saute until soft and well-cooked, 15 to 20 minutes. Gently stir in the beans and remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 375F.
In a small bowl, mix thoroughly the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the bread crumbs and the thyme.
In a 9-inch gratin dish, first add the onion-bean mixture. Add enough of the reserved bean-cooking liquid so that the liquid goes just under halfway below the top of the beans.
Top off with the bread-crumb mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread crumbs are browned and the liquid is bubbling.