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Photo: Maren Caruso; Styling: Robyn Valarik Photo by: Photo: Maren Caruso; Styling: Robyn Valarik

White Bean Gratin

Santa Maria-style tri-tip is traditionally served with little red pinquito beans. We came up with this fancy bean dish for our fancier tri-tip, but it's great with the other roasts too.

Sunset DECEMBER 2011

  • Yield: Serves 10 to 12
  • Total: 4 Hours


  • 3 cups dried cannellini beans
  • About 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 onion, sliced into thin half-moons
  • 2-ounce piece slab bacon (or 2 oz. thick-cut regular bacon)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 1 tsp. finely chopped garlic
  • 2 large sage sprigs, plus 2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)


1. Put beans in a large pot and cover with 1 in. cold water. Bring to a boil; turn off heat and let beans sit, covered, 1 hour. Drain and return to pot. Add 2 cups chicken broth, 7 cups water, the onion, bacon, crushed garlic, sage sprigs, bay leaves, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour, or until beans are just tender.

2. Preheat oven to 375°. Add salt and cook beans until soft but not falling apart, 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Discard bacon, sage sprigs, and bay leaves. Drain beans into a colander set over a bowl; reserve liquid. Pour beans back into pot.

4. Blend 2 cups beans, 1/2 cup bean liquid, and 1/4 cup oil in a blender until smooth. Stir purée into beans along with chopped garlic and sage, rosemary, and remaining 1/2 tsp. pepper. Pour beans into a 3-qt. gratin dish and add enough bean liquid to just cover beans (if you have liquid left, save for soup; if you don't have enough, use more broth).

5. Bake until top is starting to set, 25 minutes. Mix zest, panko, and remaining 2 tbsp. oil in a bowl. Sprinkle over beans and bake until bubbly and browned and liquid has thickened, 30 minutes.

Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 261
  • Calories from fat: 28%
  • Protein: 13g
  • Fat: 8.5g
  • Saturated fat: 1.6g
  • Carbohydrate: 33g
  • Fiber: 8.4g
  • Sodium: 432mg
  • Cholesterol: 5.2mg

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White Bean Gratin Recipe