Baked White Bean Cakes

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Baked White Bean CakesIf you’ve got leftover White Beans, Tuscan Style (page 444), you’re in luck: Drain them of any liquid and use them here (the sage and the extra garlic will add another layer of flavor). But if you don’t, use any cooked white beans, even canned. I eat these hot from the oven, with a sprinkle of cheese and a salad on the side. For a fancier presentation, try warming a little Fast Tomato Sauce (page 312) to serve with them.
Other beans you can use: any cooked white bean like navy or great Northern; see the variations for ideas for other beans

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes


  • 3 cups cooked or canned white beans, drained but still moist
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup olive oil or 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
  • ¼ cup minced red onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • Salt and pepper
How to Make It
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the beans in a large bowl and mash lightly with a fork. Add the eggs and cheese and mix with the fork until combined.
  2. 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, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rosemary and remove from the heat.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper (taking into account how well seasoned your beans were to start with) to 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.
  4. 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 cakes, not more than ½ inch thick. Put them on the prepared pan. Bake until golden and crisp, about 30 minutes, carefully turning them over after 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
  5. 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.
  6. BLACK BEAN CAKES WITH QUESO FRESCO Great texture, with the cheese staying semifirm: Use black beans instead of white, crumbled queso fresco instead of the Parmesan, and sage or parsley instead of the rosemary. Serve with white rice and Chimichurri (page 638).
  7. BAKED LENTIL CAKES WITH GRUYÈRE Best with Le Puy or other small green lentils, but black or brown lentils are good too: Use lentils instead of the white beans, grated Gruyère or other Swiss cheese instead of the Parmesan, and thyme or tarragon instead of the rosemary. Proceed with the recipe, drizzle with Mustard Vinaigrette (page 628), and serve with Braised Potatoes with Mustard (page 238).

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