White Bean Wild Mushroom Gratin {2 Cooking Methods}

White Bean Wild Mushroom Gratin is creamy white beans with porcini and cremini mushrooms, topped with panko breadcrumbs and cheese.  You can make the beans in minutes with a pressure cooker, or cook them low and slow….you decide!

white-bean-wild-mushroom-gratin2 | flavorthemoments.com

Most days I’m completely fine just opening up a can of beans and calling it done.  When I’m making a dish where the beans are truly the star, however, I want to make my own using dried beans.  The beans really are creamier and fresher tasting, there’s no doubt about it.  And since I got my new friend the pressure cooker a few months ago, once the beans are soaked, I can have them in minutes. 🙂

Meet my new friend.  You can find it here.

pressure cooker

Before I go into the 2 different ways you can make this dish, I want to talk about this white bean wild mushroom gratin.  I adapted this from a similar dish that we made in cooking school — it was phenomenal!  I tweaked a few things by adding more mushrooms…which is always a good thing in my book.  Mushroom overload is the name of my game. 🙂

white-bean-wild-mushroom-gratin1 | flavorthemoments.com

And lots of mushrooms we’ve got.  The dried porcini mushrooms not only add another variety of mushroom to this dish, but they add tons of flavor — umami, if you will — and basically make the cooking liquid taste like a mushroom stock.  The liquid is thick, and tastes downright beefy.  You could get by with only using the porcinis, but the cremini mushrooms made this dish even heartier, which is perfect for making it a vegetarian main dish.  If you’re gluten intolerant, this dish is right up your alley as well, just use gluten free breadcrumbs.

white-bean-wild-mushroom-gratin-collage | flavorthemoments.com

Now let’s talk pressure cooker, because I’m dying to.  We used them in school a lot, and I had never used them before.  When they were mentioned, I thought about the old 70’s version my mom had, and thought there was no way I was gonna buy one.  I changed my tune, and it quickly rose to the top of my must-have’s list.  Come to find out, there are many benefits to pressure cooking:

(1) Food cooks faster — up to 70% faster.

(2) Because food quicks quicker, less nutrients are lost.

(3) The nutrients that the food loses during cooking time are in the cooking liquid. #usethatliquid!

(4) Produce doesn’t lose it’s beautiful color during cooking time, because again…it spends less time cooking.

(5)  Foods like pulled pork, short ribs, and the like don’t have to be all day weekend foods anymore, because with your pressure cooker, you make them on busy weeknights in about an hour.

See…this pressure cooker can be your friend with benefits. 🙂

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I bought the Fagor brand because it was recommended by my cooking instructor.  It’s so easy to use, and there’s no way the top is going to blow off the thing.  I promise.

If after all of this you’re still not sold, simply cook the beans on the stove top or your slow cooker for 1.5 – 2 hours.  The pressure cooker takes about 10 minutes.  Just sayin’. 🙂

Whatever way you decide to cook the beans for this white bean wild mushroom gratin, the results will be the same — the creamiest ever white beans with a flavorful, thick, mushroom-y broth with a crispy, golden brown cheesy topping.  It truly doesn’t get much better than this — except maybe topping it with a nice, fresh Italian salsa verde?  Yeah, that did make it better. 🙂

white-bean-wild-mushroom-gratin4 | flavorthemoments.com

White Bean Wild Mushroom Gratin {2 Cooking Methods}
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
White Bean Wild Mushroom Gratin is creamy white beans baked with porcini and cremini mushrooms, topped with panko breadcrumbs and cheese. Cook the beans quickly in a pressure cooker or low and slow...you decide!
Author:
Serves: Serves 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 pound (about 2 cups) dried Great Northern beans, rinsed, and picked through*
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large pieces
  • 1 medium onion, stem and outer peel removed, quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • ½ ounce dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 4 sprigs each fresh thyme and parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups (1 quart) reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
For the gratin:
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, cleaned, halved, and sliced
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (or gluten free breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan
For the Italian Salsa Verde: (optional)
  • 1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley, washed thoroughly, leaves picked off (2½ cups loosely packed, leaves only)
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • zest of a whole lemon
  • juice from ½ lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons agave syrup*
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
Quick soak the beans:
  1. Place the beans in large pot with the water. Do not add salt!* Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 1 hour. Drain the beans in a colander and rinse. At this point, the beans may be stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container until ready to use.
Cook the beans using the pressure cooker method:
  1. Place the beans in a pressure cooker with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, porcini mushrooms, herbs, and bay leaf. Add the stock and cover the pressure cooker, locking the lid. With the pressure cooker on high, cook over high heat until brought to pressure. Reduce the stove top heat to medium and continue to cook for 10 minutes, using the quick release method. If the beans aren't soft enough, lock the lid, bring back to pressure, and cook a couple more minutes. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid and the porcini mushroom pieces. Discard the rest.
Cook the beans using the slow method:
  1. Place the beans in large pot or slow cooker with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, porcini mushrooms, herbs, and bay leaf. Add the stock and cook on low heat for 1.5 - 2 hours or until soft. Drain the beans and reserve the liquid and the porcini mushroom pieces. Discard the rest.
Prepare the salsa verde, if using:
  1. Place the parsley leaves, capers, garlic, lemon zest, juice, and 1 teaspoon agave syrup in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper as needed. With the machine on low speed, add the olive oil through the feed tube and continue processing until the the salsa verde is fairly smooth, scraping down the sides as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste and process, and taste. Adjust the seasoning as needed, and add the other teaspoon of agave to balance out the flavors if necessary, and process again. Set aside.
Prepare the gratin:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8" square baker, individual gratin dishes, or ramekins with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cremini mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and sauté until browned and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the cremini mushroom mixture and enough of the cooking liquid to moisten the beans, and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed, stirring gently to combine.
  4. Pour the bean mixture into the prepared dish(es) and top with breadcrumbs then the cheese. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until cheese melts and the top is golden brown. If the top doesn't brown quickly, place under the broiler. Serve as-is, or top with Italian salsa verde, and enjoy!
Notes
1 hour quick soaking time for the beans is reflected in the prep time.
*When picking through the beans, discard any that are cracked or discolored.
*Do not salt the beans during the soaking time as this can result in overly hard, and possibly inedible beans.
You will more than likely have leftover cooking liquid from the beans. Store it in the fridge or freeze it, as it would be perfect to add to soups, pasta sauces, etc.
The Italian salsa verde is a fresh, delicious addition, but the gratin is perfectly delicious all on it's own!
Adapted from Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA.