Weekly Winner: In Defense of Beige Food

I know everyone says that you “eat with your eyes” first.  Food should be attractive and inviting.  Generally that means colorful and artistically presented which is something that I do usually strive for.  But sometimes, the dish is just so dang tasty that it really doesn’t matter what it looks like.  Not that this week’s winning recipe is ugly or unappealing — it’s just, well, plain-looking…. and monotone… namely beige.  But comforting and tasty it is and that is why I’ve been making this particular recipe for over three years.

And yes, I know… this is really LAST week’s Weekly Winner as I did not post.  And I did, in fact, make this last week.  But things got away from me and I was traveling and we ate a lot of meals out so here it is a week late.  But don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I made this week’s Weekly Winner last night, so stay tuned!

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Last week’s Weekly Winner is Chicken Sausage and White Bean Casserole with Sage and it comes from the ever-dependable Everyday Food Magazine.  Although frying the sage leaves sounds like a fussy and unnecessary step, please don’t skip it.  It is a very important component to this dish — not to mention the only thing that is not beige!

Chicken Sausage and White Bean Casserole with Sage

Serves 8


1/2 baguette (about 4 ounces), torn into pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1/3 cup fresh sage leaves (about 25)

1 large onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound fresh chicken sausage, casings removed

1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

3 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, pulse bread until very coarse crumbs form (you should have about 3 cups). Add 2 tablespoons oil; pulse briefly to moisten. Season with salt and pepper; set breadcrumbs aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add sage; cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sage to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside (reserve pan with oil).

Add onion and garlic to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sausage and wine; cook, breaking sausage up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in beans; cook until beans are tender and creamy, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer sausage-and-bean mixture to a shallow 4-quart baking dish; scatter breadcrumbs over top. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until topping is golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Serve casserole topped with fried sage leaves.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nancy
    Sep 10, 2012 @ 15:51:00

    I can’t wait till I have a kitchen again so I can cook all these recipes of yours I’m printing out.


  2. Trackback: Weekly Winner: More Wonderfully Beige Food | Donna's Quick Qi

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