Dungeness Crab and Heirloom Bean Brandade
- 1 cup dried white heirloom beans (such as marrow beans) or Great Northern beans
- 1 celery stalk, cut in half crosswise, plus 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
- 8 ounces Dungeness crabmeat, picked over
- 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 ounces Crescenza cheese or cream cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley, divided
Rinse beans with cold water; place in large saucepan. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 2 inches; let soak overnight. Drain. Return beans to same pan. Add enough cold water to cover beans by 3 to 4 inches. Add celery stalk, carrot, and onion. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Remove from heat. Add 1 teaspoon coarse salt; let beans cool in cooking liquid. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill in cooking liquid. Before using, drain beans, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
Lightly butter 1-quart baking dish. Combine crab, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl; chill.
Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add chopped celery, garlic, and cayenne; stir 2 minutes. Add beans and 1/4 cup cooking liquid; cook until heated through, mashing beans coarsely, about 2 minutes. Add Crescenza cheese; stir until melted. Fold in crab mixture and 2 tablespoons parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to prepared baking dish. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill crab brandade uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake brandade uncovered until heated through and mixture begins to bubble at edges, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve warm with toasted baguette slices.
Crescenza cheese is a soft-ripened cow's-milk cheese traditionally made in Italy. Look for it at your local cheese store, or order it online from bellwethercheese.com or mozzco.com.