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The temperature has finally fallen to a degree akin to Winter here in the South. It was a long, hot Summer and I am happy to have to bundle up for a change.
Winter cooking is really my comfort zone. The extra hours of darkness and cold weather give me so much more opportunity to tinker with recipes and come up with meals that warm the cockles of my heart. My kitchen is constantly buzzing with crockpots and kettles and loaves of fresh bread coming out of the oven. I love to braise meats and simmer vegetables and cover things in copious amounts of cheese. Winter cooking is just so damn cozy.
This bean bake was the first dish I cooked when the weather started making its turn towards Winter. I still had tomatoes coming out of the garden then. I make this dish with a big 28oz can of tomatoes in the colder months instead of fresh ones.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cups cubed bread such as sourdough or Italian bread, about ½ -inch
- 2 ½ pounds fresh tomatoes chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 oz can white beans rinsed and drained, 15 .
- 1 oz package of frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained, 10 .
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium low heat, heat the olive oil. Add the bread to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until the bread is golden brown and toasted. Add in the garlic and tomatoes, and cook until the tomatoes break down and release their juices, 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach, beans and basil. Top with the shredded Parmesan and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the dish is bubbly and the cheese is melted and beginning to brown.