This is one of my mom's favorite dishes! It's inspired by a Deborah Madison recipe that she found in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I think everyone should own this book! Deborah Madison approaches vegetarian food in the most un-hippie way possible. I don't think any of her dishes could leave a meat eater unsatisfied!
Anyways, back to the recipe. My mom bought some great local heirloom beans called Marrow beans from a stall at the Topanga farmer's market the other day. Madison actually calls for flageolet beans in her recipe, but I think almost any non black/kidney bean would work fine. We soaked the beans overnight and then drained off the liquid and cooked them until tender with some rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, an onion and some of my favorite smoked dried chilis. The beans were so fresh that they barely took any time at all to cook!
In a separate pot, I sautéed some shallots in olive oil and butter. After a few minutes, I added in about 10 diced roma tomatoes along with some white wine and let that cook for another 5-7 minutes.
I cubed up a loaf of bread and coated it pieces in minced garlic, olive oil and melted butter before toasting them in the oven.
We steamed some green beans until they were just shy of being done and then combined them in a large casserole dish with the drained marrow beans, stewed tomatoes and shallots, about a cup of cream, half a cup of chopped parsley and maybe 2-3 tablespoons of chopped tarragon. I topped the casserole with the croutons and baked it, covered, until it started to bubble around the edges. At this point, I took off the foil and and let the croutons brown a little more. After taking the dish out of the oven, I finished it with some parmesan.
For the salad, I simply mixed up a little apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, mustard and olive oil and then coated some lettuce leaves with the dressing right before eating.
Chocolate Tart -
I used this gourmet magazine recipe for the chocolate filling but skipped the glaze. For the crust I used regular graham crackers instead of the chocolate ones, used about half as much sugar and added in about a teaspoon of cinnamon. It turned out really well. I served it with a little raspberry compote.