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To use overcooked for white beans for salad?

My husband is very sensitive to undercooked beans, so when I was boiling a pot of cannellini beans the other day I made sure to get his seal of approval before pulling them off the stove (lest I hear about how they're too crunch every time he eats them). He said they were way undercooked so I left them on for longer, and of course, they overcooked slightly. They aren't too bad but a lot of them (maybe 1/3) started breaking apart. I had initially been cooking them to use in a bean salad. I know this may seem like a dumb question because it's just a matter of taste, but what do people think about using mushier beans for salad? Should I just use them in a soup/chili instead? Think they will be okay in a salad?

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  1. They might firm up a bit when they are chilled. I'm sure they will be fine although I also prefer them a little crunchy. Good luck and do report back!

    3 Replies
    1. re: JeremyEG

      I also prefer them crunchy. Big source of a contention between my husband and me--reminds me of a Moth podcast I heard where Adam Liptak talked about how hard it was to be married to a woman who liked her meat and fish cooked well done :)

      1. re: arielleeve

        So many married couples have squabbles over food issues. A friend of mine is married to a woman who for a time couldn't eat salt or pepper in any amount. I lucked out and fortunately married a woman who loves almost all foods. In fact, she made a special trip to the farmers market today because she heard the first sugar snap peas of the season were available and she was right!

        1. re: JeremyEG

          It's been an ongoing adjustment for me because I grew up with a Jewish father who will literally eat ANYTHING regardless of quality or his fullness (to a fault -- things that probably verge on being unsafe he will consume sooner than throw them out). And now I'm married to someone so picky he'll toss his lunch and buy a new one if he doesn't like it. He grew up with an awful cook of a mother so he never tasted a lot of things as a child (lots of vegetables, any ethnic cuisines) and also became accustomed to everything being completely overcooked. Some things I've been able to undo with persistance (i.e. he is starting to come around on liking leafy greens like kale), other things we'll never agree on (he likes his scrambled eggs cooked to what I consider to be rubbery)...However I realize I am still luckier than many -- my brother-in-law doesn't eat fruit, at all, in any form. THAT would really drive me crazy.

    2. They'll likely start breaking apart a bit and smearing in the salad, but they'll taste fine. But will you have to listen to griping over how mushy the salad was? ;)

      1. I would probably make them into a white bean hummus. BTW, I recently discovered the slow cooker for cooking dry beans and I doubt I'll ever use another cooking method - they come out perfectly!!!!

        6 Replies
        1. re: biondanonima

          Can you point me to a favorite recipe please? I love beans and would love to not have to babysit them.

          1. re: suzigirl

            No recipe necessary - just plop in the beans (no soaking), pour in water to cover by about 3x the depth of the beans, a bit of salt and go. You'll have to experiment to see how fast your particular slow cooker cooks them, but I find that 6 hours on low is plenty to get pintos, navys and black beans VERY tender (almost too tender for some applications).

            1. re: suzigirl

              But here's a recipe from the NY Times that calls for garlic scapes: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/18/din...

            2. re: biondanonima

              Oooh, white bean hummus does sound like a better use. Can I change my vote lol?

              I always do up my beans in the slowcooker also. Very forgiving method and so low-maintenance.

              1. re: biondanonima

                Ooooh, I know I want one for this exact reason. Unfortunately I'm completely at my max for appliances at the moment...no space!

              2. Add some crunch with toasted sesame seed ( or toasted bread crumbs )mixed with chopped parsley,some chopped onion,scallion etc.

                1. Use them as if they were cooked potatoes and you are making potato salad. I came up with FAUXTATO SALAD
                  a couple of years ago when I overcooked dried and soaked large lima beans. These are what is sold canned as butter beans. Close your eyes and the broken cooked beans taste like potato, with the same texture. Heat your overcooked cannelini a bit before putting the vinegar on - this seasons the starch better than using cold beans/spuds. Let them cool a little before proceeding with the onion, mayo, etc.

                  1. Saute garlic cloves in olive oil until soft. Add chopped fresh rosemary and your cooked beans. When hot and nicely seasoned with salf and pepper, mash with a fork and serve on toasted bread that has been rubbed with fresh garlic. Drizzle with olive oil before serving.

                    1. I just saw a show where the cook replaced 1/2 of the oil-fat with some bean puree, in a baking recipe. Maybe your overcooked beans have use in another food application. The end result, a chocolate chip cookie looked good.

                      1. Make white bean dip.

                        Beans, a clove or two of garlic that you've minced and then turned into a paste with the side of your knife, lemon juice, olive oil and salt. A little water till you get the texture uou eant. Purée in food processor.

                        Stir in chopped herbs like chives, parsley, basil at the end.

                        I usually serve with pita chips.

                        It's a much requested party food

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: C. Hamster

                          i'm in the camp of pureeing them too. mushy beans are gross and just will smear in a salad. i like a little harissa or smoked paprika in there too.

                        2. Thanks all. I think I'm going to do what most suggested and make a dip/spread of some sort that I can put into a wrap for lunch next week, since I have some tortillas to use up. Maybe with some avocado and fresh veggies. I have around 3 or 4 cans left so the rest I will either use for a white bean chili (a vegetarian times recipe I found a few years back, made with goat cheese and rajas, so delicious) or a soup depending on my mood. Or just freeze them.