The second of my friend Krista’s vegetarian bean recipes also comes from the New York Times Cooking, from Ali Slagle. The recipe brings two beans and one head of garlic together simmered in milk for a rich and hearty experience.

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 head garlic, halved crosswise

1 cup whole milk

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, with their liquid

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, such as cannellini or Great Northern, drained and rinsed

1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves or 1 bay leaf

⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, allspice or garam masala

Kosher salt and black pepper

4 slices crusty bread or thick toast

Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving

Freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Aleppo pepper or red-pepper flakes, for serving

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, cut side down, and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk, chickpeas and their liquid, white beans, thyme and nutmeg and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. When the mixture begins to bubble around the edges of the pan (you don’t want it to come to a full boil), reduce the heat to low and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened and tastes great to you, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Use a fork to remove the garlic halves from the beans. Set aside until cool enough to handle, then use the fork to remove the cloves from the skins. Spread the cloves on bread or toast.

If you would like the beans to be more stew-like, mash some of the beans using a potato masher or the back of a spoon. Serve beans and milk in bowls. Garnish as you wish, with a drizzle of oil, a sprinkle of Parmesan and a pinch of Aleppo pepper and black pepper. Serve with the bread alongside for dipping.

Thank you again Krista!