White Beans with Carrots & Tomatoes
This one pot, vegetarian dish is great on its own with a heavy handed drizzle of really good olive oil. But it also serves as the perfect canvas for crumbled goat cheese, a soft boiled egg or even some wild tinned sardines to really make it a meal. From prep to finish it only takes about 25 minutes and is even better the next day, so plan for leftovers. I love it for a savory breakfast but it’s also an ideal side dish to any meal.
Note: if you can’t find canned cherry tomatoes you can use diced tomatoes or even fresh cherry tomatoes and add a ½ cup of broth or water.
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14 ounce) can cherry tomatoes
1 cup homemade chicken stock or water
2 (14 ounce cans) white beans (such as cannellini or great northern) , drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Juice from half a lemon
Small bunch of parsley, chopped
In a large heavy bottomed skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel seeds then the carrots and saute, stirring often, for 5 minutes, until the carrots have softened slightly.
Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Add the cherry tomatoes (with their juices), chicken broth (or water), and kosher salt. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced by a third. This allows the carrots to cook more and for the flavors to intensify as the liquid reduces.
Add the drained beans, cover and cook for 8 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature. The flavors will deepen the longer the dish sits.