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*3 tbls. unsalted butter
*2 tbls. olive oil
*1 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
*Leaves from 1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
*1 1/2 cups fresh, frozen or dried flageolets or dried small white beans
*4 cups water
*2 dried bay leaves
*2 tsps. kosher salt, plus salt to taste
*1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice
*3/4 cup heavy cream
*1/4 cup dry white wine
*1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
*Freshly ground pepper to taste
1Melt 2 tbls. butter with the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and thyme and cook until the onion is softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
2Add the flageolets, water, bay leaves and 2 tsps. salt. Increase heat to a simmer and cook the fresh or frozen beans, if using, until tender, about 20 minutes. Simmer, if using dried beans, for 1 hour or longer, adding an extra cup or two of water if they become dry.
3In a separate sauté pan or skillet, melt the remaining 1 tbls. butter over medium heat and cook the carrot for 1 minute. Add the cream and wine and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside.
4When the beans are fully cooked, drain, reserving 1 cup of the bean broth. To prepare ahead, cool the beans, broth and cream mixtures separately and refrigerate for up to 1 day.
5Return the beans to the saucepan and add the parsley and cream mixture, stirring to combine. Add some of the bean broth if necessary to create a loose sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place for up to 1 hour.
Chef's Tips
  • Flageolets are delicate-tasting, pale green French legumes, something like less-starchy kidney beans. They're mostly found dried, though occasionally you can find them fresh or frozen.

Mark Franz of Farallon Restaurant, San Francisco, CA.