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Basic Beans

Updated February 23, 2016
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This image courtesy of JosephDeLeo.cookstr.com

You can either soak the beans overnight or use the quick-cook method. There are instructions below for both ways. If you want to freeze some of the beans, remove the quantity to be frozen at a point when they've softened a bit, but are still quite crunchy—that could be anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour of cooking time, depending on the freshness and type of beans. Place the beans in a plastic container and cover them completely with cooking water. Let the beans cool and place them in the freezer. They will keep for up to a month. When you are ready to use the beans, defrost them, add some extra cooking water and cook until soft to the bite.

7 cups cooked

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Recipe Courseside dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low-fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky, herby

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (2½ cups) cannellini or any other type of dried beans
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for serving

Instructions

LONG-SOAK METHOD:

Pick over the beans to remove any stones or bad or broken beans. Rinse thoroughly.

Put the beans in a stockpot and cover with plenty of cold water. Soak for 6 to 12 hours. (If it's warm, put the beans in the refrigerator.)

Drain the beans and return them to the pot with 4 quarts fresh cold water.

Wrap the herbs and garlic in a 6-inch square of cheesecloth and add it to the pot. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Bring the water to a low simmer, then cook until the beans are done. Depending on their freshness and the variety of bean, this can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Keep checking them for doneness. After 30 minutes of cooking, add the salt.

Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle and the vegetables and drain. Serve the beans warm, drizzled with olive oil.

QUICK-COOK METHOD:

Pick over the beans to remove any stones or bad or broken beans. Rinse thoroughly.

Put the beans in a stockpot and cover with 4 quarts cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let the beans soak in the hot water for 1 hour.

Drain the beans and return them to the stockpot. Cover with 4 quarts fresh cold water.

Wrap the herbs and garlic in a 6-inch square of cheesecloth and add it to the pot. Add the carrot, celery, and onion. Bring the water to a boil and cook at a low simmer until the beans are done. Depending on their freshness and the variety of bean, this can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Keep checking them for doneness. After 30 minutes of cooking, add the salt.

Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle and the vegetables and drain. Serve the beans warm, drizzled with olive oil.

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