Goodness it's been a while.
Posting my recipe for April dinner club – I have one of the sides, and wanted to make a bean dish. Speaking with my Italian coworker about it, she suggested something her mother used to make – canned cannellini beans with braised leeks. It was a simple recipe – canned beans, water, leeks and a little oil.
I spiked it a bit, as will be clear in the recipe:
Ytees Night-Before-The-Dinner-Party Leeks and Cannelini Beans
2 cans (20 oz) Cannellini beans
2 bunches (about 1.5 lbs) leeks
Half a clutch garlic, pressed
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms (half a pkg)
~2 tbsp olive oil
2.5 cups liquid (I used homemade beef broth)
Salt & pepper to taste
Wash and chop leeks roughly. In a large dutch oven (large enough to hold beans and liquid) saute mushrooms in 2 tbsp oil and a dash of salt until they just begin to release liquid. Add additional tbsp of oil and leeks. Toss regularly until leeks are tender and beginning to carmelize on the edges, about 10 minutes. Add pressed garlic, stir and add a few grindings of pepper. Add beans, stir to combine and add broth to top up to about half an inch above the level of the bean mixture. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. Add additional broth/water as needed to keep liquid level constant.
Drink a martini, post to your blog and eat your dinner.
Refrigerate – dish will become thicker as it cools, and will be better heated the second day.
I doubled this for the party. The recipe above should serve 5-6 people.