- 1 1/2 pounds (about 3 1/2 cups) dried Great Northern beans, rinsed
- 4 fresh large thyme sprigs
- 2 14 1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from day-old French bread
- 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
Combine 12 cups water, beans, thyme sprigs, bay leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in large pot. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour 45 minutes. Drain. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
Transfer beans to 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add canned tomatoes with juices, sun-dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon chopped thyme, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Toss gently to blend. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix breadcrumbs, lemon peel, and remaining 1/2 tablespoon chopped thyme in small bowl. Sprinkle over beans. Drizzle remaining 1 tablespoon oil over. Bake until juices are bubbling around edges and breadcrumbs are golden, about 55 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.