By Diane Rossen Worthington

I created this recipe one day when fussy food-loving vegetarians were coming to dinner. I wanted to do something slightly unusual but speedy to prepare. The result was a bit hit at our table. Everyone loved this combination of sturdy portabella mushrooms combined with tomatoes and creamy cannelini beans. The touch of tarragon brings all of the flavors together; if you’re not a tarragon lover.

Portabella mushrooms are chosen here for their rich meaty texture and flavor. Portabellas are actually larger brown cremini mushrooms. It’s important to remove the inner gills of the mushroom with a spoon so the mushrooms won’t  exude a dark liquid. Otherwise the stew might be too soupy.

If you like a smoky flavor look for fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Canned cannelini beans work fine in this recipe but remember to drain them well. Try this on a cold day by itself in a bowl or serve it atop soft corn polenta, risotto or your favorite pasta. A California Zinfandel would be a lovely accompaniment.

 

Portabella Mushroom, Tomato and White Bean Ragout

Serves 4-6

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 medium leeks, light green and white part, cleaned and finely chopped

2 pounds portabella mushrooms, trimmed and chopped

1 14-1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried

Seriously Simple Seasoning Salt or other favorite seasoning salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons creme fraiche or whipping cream

1 cup rinsed cooked cannelini beans

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the leeks until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

 

  1. Add the mushrooms and stir to evenly distribute. Cook until softened, about 4-5 more minutes.

 

  1. Add the tomatoes and tarragon and simmer until the mixture is nicely browned and thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon breaking up the tomato pieces as they soften.

 

  1. Add the salt and pepper and balsamic and bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the liquid until it is glaze-like. Reduce the heat and add the cream and beans and mix to combine. Heat for another minute. Taste for seasoning.

 

Advance Preparation: Can be prepared 4 hours ahead, covered and reheated gently.

Art: Portabella Mushroom, Tomato and White Bean Ragout, Seriously Simple, Diane Worthington, photographer Noal Barnhurst