It’s summer and there’s plenty of great produce to be had at farm stands and grocery stores, and we’re going to make the most of it, intensifying the sweetness of corn and tomatoes by roasting them low and slow. Roasting carmelizes sugar inside of veggies, making them sweet and tender. Think of it as veggie candy.
Next, we puree together great northern white beans and pesto. Pesto is a combination of herbs and olive oil, often including nuts. Basil and pine nut pesto is the classic, but you can find pesto recipes with parsley, cilantro, mint, walnuts and more. Take this as a chance to customize your meal based on the flavors you love. Pesto made from scratch is best, of course, but if you’re in a pinch, you can find pre-made pesto in your grocery store, usually in the produce department.
To put this elegant dish together, put a thick slice of tomato on a place. Top with a spoonful of your pesto-bean sauce and a sprinkling of roasted corn. This makes for a classy appetizer or a fun way to get kids to eat their veggies.
Roasted Tomato Stacks with White Bean Puree
4 – 5 large tomatoes, sliced
1 ear corn, kernels removed (about a cup)
3/4 cup fresh herbs, coarsely chopped
salt and pepper
3-4 tbs olive oil
1/2 – 2/3 cup pesto sauce , preferably homemade
24 oz jar Randall Great Northern Beans, not drained
1/2 – 2/3 cup water
1. Roast tomatoes. Set oven to 250 degrees. Prepare the baking sheet by combining herbs (rosemary, thyme and marjoram work well), olive oil and salt and pepper. Try not to use a lot of olive oil; you just want a fine coating. Slice the top and bottom of the tomatoes, then slice the tomatoes in half. Rub both sides of the tomato with the herb oil mixture and space the slices evenly apart. Sprinkle the pan and tomatoes with corn. Rotate the pan after the first hour of baking and bake for about 2 hours. You want the tomatoes to be slightly collapsed and the corn to be chewy.
2. Make the bean sauce. In a sure pan on top of the stove combine the pesto and the beans. Heat through so that the cheese in the pesto is melted. Taste and make sure you have enough pesto flavor. Transfer ingredients to a food processor, while motor is running, slowly drizzle the water. Your sauce should have some body.
3. Assemble the stacks. Starting with your thickest tomato slice, put a dollop of the bean pesto and then top with another slice. You can stop there or continue an additional slice and dollop, topping the tower with your thinnest slice then garnish the roasted corn. Serve warm.
This recipe featuring Randall Beans Great Northern Beans is a perfect summer side dish.