Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Cooked Cannellini Beans

You can easily purchase cooked dried beans in a can but I much prefer to soak and cook my own when time permits. You could also just cook soaked beans in water to reconstitute them but cooking them with a few stock ingredients will yield a much tastier result along with some kickass broth that can usually be incorporated into whatever recipe you're using the beans for. This is a preparation I've been using for cannellinis.

Note that you can soak a sizable amount of beans overnight and freeze whatever you don't use the next day for later. Just make sure to label the bag that they have only been soaked, not cooked.

Ingredients
2 cups dried cannellini beans soaked overnight in 4 or more cups water
8 cups cold water
1 onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
several fresh sage leaves
several branches flat-leaf parsley
2 bay leaves
several whole black peppercorns

Directions
Drain the soaked beans and discard the soaking water.
Put beans into a large saucepan and cover with the fresh cold water. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. (Do not add any salt until the beans have been cooked.) Once the water starts to boil, a foam will start to build on the surface. Lower the heat to bring the water to a simmer and carefully skim the foam off as it forms. The foam should take about 4 minutes or so to dissipate.
Let the beans cook for at least 30 minutes or until the beans are tender but still hold a firm shape. If they are not tender, let them continue to cook until they are. The fresher the beans, the sooner they will be done. If you overcook them, they will not hold up.
Remove the pan from heat and drain the beans into a colander that has been placed in a bowl to catch the delicious broth. Let the beans cool before either serving with a dressing or using for another recipe. Save the broth to use or freeze for later.