I’m a chef who goes through “ingredient phases.” That is, I get really “into” a particular ingredient and experiment with it all week long. My phases are always fun and full of learning, but usually after a week or so, I’m ready to move on to another ingredient.
At the moment, I’m deep in my Cannellini bean phase! I love them!
Over the weekend I soaked and cooked a couple of pounds of these guys. I want to make sure that you all know how simple it is to cook your own dried beans.
Dried Bean Tips and Notes:
- Dried beans will expand to about two and a half times their dried measure size.
- Store dried beans in airtight containers in a cool, dry area.
- Cooked beans can be stored in their cooking liquid for about 4 days in the refrigerator.
- Cooked beans may be stored in the freezer, packaged in airtight containers or bags, in small batches that make sense (about 2 cups each or so). For best results, the beans should be used within a few weeks. To defrost them, place them in the refrigerator overnight.
- DO NOT add salt until the beans are tender and cooked completely. (Adding salt prevents the beans from absorbing water.)
- The following DO NOT need soaking: lentils, black-eyed peas, and whole and split peas.
Off we go!
- 1 pound of Cannellini beans
- ½ of a small brown onion, cut into large chunks
- 5 whole garlic cloves, roots removed and cut in half
- 5 bay leaves
- In a large mixing bowl, soak the beans in about three times their volume of lukewarm water, for about 12 hours.Drain the beans, add them to a large stockpot, and fill the pot with enough cold water to go a couple inches above the beans.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer the beans for about 20 minutes. (Use a large metal spoon to remove any foam that has appeared on the surface during this time.)
- Drain the beans and return them to the pot. This time, add enough water to go several inches above the beans and add the onion, garlic and bay leaves.
- Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the beans are tender, about 1-1/2 hours.