by Susan Hanna
This recipe from NYT Cooking turns inexpensive dried beans into a healthy and tasty supper. Cover the beans in cold water (water should cover the beans by 2 inches/5 cm) overnight. Cook the soaked beans with onion, garlic, Parmesan rinds if you have them, olive oil and salt. Toast the bread and rub with a garlic clove. Place a slice of toast in a bowl and ladle the beans and broth over it. Garnish with olive oil, salt, fresh herbs, grated Parmesan and pepper. Cook’s note: I used dried navy beans. I keep Parmesan rinds in the freezer and use them to add flavour to stock and pasta sauce. If you like heat, add some hot pepper flakes when you garnish the dish. To quick-soak dried beans, cover them with 2 inches/5 cm of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let the beans stand in the hot water for an hour. The beans will then be ready to cook.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Genuine Parmesan contains no colour or additives. Look for the name stamped on the rind. Ace Bakery crusty bread is additive-free. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.
- 1 cup dried beans, such as cannellini or cranberry
- 1 small onion, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- Up to 4 ounces (113 g) Parmesan rinds
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) kosher salt
- 4 thick slices crusty sourdough bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) parsley leaves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) marjoram leaves, chopped
- Flaky sea salt, finely grated Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper, for serving
- Soak the beans in cold water overnight, or for 10 to 12 hours (or quick-soak the beans). Rinse beans, and place in a large heavy-bottomed pot with onion, garlic, Parmesan rinds, olive oil and salt. Cover beans with water, so the water level is a couple of inches (5 cm) above the beans, and bring to a boil, then turn heat down so it’s simmering gently. Put a lid on the pot, and cook until beans are tender, adding more water as needed to keep the beans submerged. This could take 1 to 2 hours or more, depending on the beans and whether or not you soaked them. (If you’re using an electric pressure cooker: Add 5 cups water, set the machine to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes, then allow the machine to slowly depressurize on its own.)
- Use a spoon to fish out the onion, garlic and cheese rinds; discard. Taste a couple of beans along with the broth. The beans should be opaque and slightly creamy; adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed.
- Brush both sides of each piece of bread with olive oil, and place on a foil-lined sheet pan. Run the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, so the bread is crisp at the edges and nicely toasted, then flip bread and repeat. While the bread is still hot, rub a garlic clove along one side of each piece, as if you were grating the garlic on the bread, pushing just firmly enough for the clove to fray and dissolve slightly into the bread.
- To assemble, place a piece of bread at the bottom of four wide, shallow bowls and ladle hot beans and broth on top. Wait a few seconds for the bread to absorb some broth, then ladle a little extra on each one, so it’s swimming. Garnish the bowls generously: Drizzle olive oil all over the beans, sprinkle with herbs and flaky sea salt, cover with finely grated Parmesan and grind a little black pepper on top.
From NYT Cooking