I'm ga-ga for gratins — especially at this time of year — and got really excited when I found this recipe for a dinner gratin. Usually gratins are served as a side dish because they highlight the flavor of one ingredient. However in this case, beans, greens, and sausage are tossed with fennel, onions, and fresh sage before being baked in the oven. Plus, this recipe uses chicken broth instead of cream making it a lighter version. Bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese give the gratin a crisp, gorgeous finish. To discover a new gratin,


Cannellini Bean and Sausage Gratin
From Real Simple magazine

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 sweet Italian sausages (about 1 pound), casings removed
1 small bulb fennel, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (½ cup)
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped sage
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 head swiss chard, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly coat an 8-by-10-inch baking or gratin dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
  2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, crumble the sausages and cook, breaking up, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the sausage from skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the fennel and onion to skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sage and cook 1 minute more. Add the Swiss chard, a handful at a time, stirring until slightly wilted. Stir in the broth, beans, sausage, salt, and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the baking dish and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and Parmesan with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle the bread-crumb mixture on top and bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Serves 4 to 6.

NUTRITION PER SERVING: CALORIES 495(42% from fat); FAT 23g (sat 7g); PROTEIN 25mg; CHOLESTEROL 31mg; CALCIUM 232mg; SODIUM 896mg; FIBER 10g; CARBOHYDRATE 47g; IRON 6mg