There are two things going on with this 30-minute dinner that will probably appeal to kids: (1) the crunchy and (2) the cheesy. I love how those melty mozzarella rounds recall a classic baked chicken Parm—but there’s not an obscene amount of cheese. The recipe as written makes enough for four medium portions. Pair it with a simplegreen salad and some crusty bread.
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ medium yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of dried red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cups cooked white beans, such as gigantes or cannellini, or 2 (15-ounce) cans, rinsed and drained
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Leaves from 3 fresh thyme sprigs
5 thin slices fresh mozzarella (about 3 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a deep, large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper and cook until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and smush it in with a wooden spoon until the onion becomes pink and the paste gets toasty and deepens in color a bit. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and ¼ cup water, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook until warmed through, about another 5 minutes. Add the beans and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are warmed through, another 4 to 5 minutes.
While the beans warm, prepare your panko topping. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the panko, Parm, thyme, and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil until every crumb is glistening.
Arrange the mozzarella slices over the warm beans, then, using your hands, evenly sprinkle the panko around the slices, covering as much of the beans as possible. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Sometimes I broil this at the very end to help along the browning.
Reprinted from The Weekday Vegetarians. Copyright © 2021 by Jenny Rosenstrach. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Christine Han. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
When you shop using our links, we earn a small commission. It’s a great way to support public media at no extra cost to you!
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. And, when you donate, you'll become a member of The Splendid Table Co-op. It's a community of like-minded individuals who love good food, good conversation and kitchen companionship. Splendid Table Co-op members will get exclusive content each month and have special opportunities for connecting with The Splendid Table team.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table and you'll be welcomed into The Splendid Table Co-op.