Baked White Bean Cakes

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 20 minutes with cooked beans

If you’ve got leftover White Beans, Tuscan Style, you’re in luck: Just drain them of any liquid and use them here. The sage and the extra garlic will add a great layer of flavor. But if not, use any cooked white beans here, even canned. I eat these hot from the oven, with a sprinkling of cheese and a salad on the side. For a fancier presentation, try warming a little Fast Tomato Sauce to serve with them.

Other beans you can use: any white bean, like navy or Great Northern. See the variations for some other ideas for other beans.

3 cups cooked white beans

2 eggs

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil or 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter

1/4 cup minced red onion

2 tablespoons minced garlic 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves or 1 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375В°F. Put the beans in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Add the eggs and cheese and whisk with the fork until combined.

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil or butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot or the butter is melted, stir in the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and remove from the heat.

Put the flour, baking powder, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper (taking into account how well seasoned your beans were to start with) into the bowl with the beans. Add the onion mixture and stir with the fork until just combined. The consistency should be like thick cookie dough. If not, add a little more flour.

Use the remaining oil or butter to grease a baking sheet. Use a large spoon or your hands to form the bean mixture into 8 bean cakes and put them on the prepared pan. Bake until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes, and serve hot or at room temperature.

Variations

Cheesy Baked Red Bean Cakes. Terrific with salsa: Use red beans instead of white, grated Monterey Jack or cheddar instead of the Parmesan, and epazote or oregano instead of the rosemary.

Black Bean Cakes with Queso Fresco. Great texture, with the cheese staying semifirm. Serve with plain white rice and Chimichurri: Use black beans instead of white, crumbled queso fresco instead of the Parmesan, and sage or parsley instead of the rosemary.

Baked Lentil Cakes with Gruyre. Best with Le Puy or other small black or green lentils, but brown lentils are good too: Use lentils instead of the white beans, grated Gruyre or Swiss cheese, and thyme or tarragon instead of the rosemary. Proceed with the recipe, drizzle with Mustard Vinaigrette and serve with Braised Potatoes with Mustard.