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.
At the moment, I’m deep in my Cannellini bean phase. I love cannellini beans, and was inspired to cook a lot of them for some upcoming recipes brewing in my mind.
Over the weekend I soaked and cooked a couple of pounds of them. I want to make sure that you all know how simple it is to cook your own dried beans. Of course you can always buy precooked beans, but if time allows, anything from scratch will have a slight edge.
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.
Here are a handful of my favorite, delicious recipes using beans:
- Cannellini Bean Tuna Salad (pictured below)
- Knockwurst and Best Baked Beans Ever
- Colorado Style Chipotle Chile
- Vegetarian Cassoulet
Now let’s get to it . . .