simple white beans recipe
- Yukari Pratt
Am looking for a simple white bean recipe. Have brought some back from Greece where I enjoyed them tapas style. Have rehydrated them, need to finish them off now.
Help! What to add? Olive oil? Any herbs? Meat?
Thanks from a bean-deprived Tokyoite...
All you really need is a quality olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper - but you can add a bit of good balsamic or other vinegar, lemon juice, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onion... or you could puree any or all of the above ingredients or add some eggplant... it's pretty hard to screw up... just make sure the olive oil you use is good and you are generous with it, don't be stingy on the salt, and you should be pleased...
i've been enjoying wite beans much more this winter than before.
I just sautee some onion and garlic in olive oil or in bacon grease. Add beans and vinegar, beer, or a spot of wine. slat and pepper, and i add some chopped spinch or greens to add more depth.
My favorite simple white beans are Tuscan style. Cook until tender with a halved head of garlic and a few sprigs or rosemary and thyme in the water. No salt or pepper until they're done.(salt toughens beans while they're cooking)
Strain and while they're hot toss with lots of good quality olive oil, lots of kosher salt, fresh pepper, and finely minced sage leaves. Don't skimp on the olive oil - it will absorb as they cool. Leftovers are great for soup or mashed or pureed into a delicious spread.
People get into heated discussions about this, but I think you SHOULD salt the beans early in the cooking process, otherwise they never quite taste right. As I understand it, it is acidic ingredients such as tomatoes that interfere with the cooking process, not salt.
But I agree, cook them up with garlic, bay leaves etc. and then while still hot add the good EVOO and other herbs.
Salt may be added at the very end - but it is true that salt will significantly toughen the skin of a bean - and it will never have that creamy consistancy you want. I add the olive oil and lots of salt as soon as they're drained and the flavor goes all through the bean as it absorbs while it cools. I've never had a problem with a flat taste at all :)