Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tonight's Dinner

I am so excited about tonight's dinner that I'm going to write about it before I even eat it! Yesterday I read about an interesting method for brining dried beans, so they cook up creamy and tender but intact, so last night I put these Rancho Gordo Good Mother Stollard beans (mail-ordered and gifted by a generous friend and neighbor with good taste) in a bowl of salted water and today I cooked them, Tuscan-style in a Dutch oven with some sage and a head of garlic. Then I went and bought myself this highly recommended bottle of extra-virgin olive oil at Cavaniola's (89 Division Street, 725-0095) to drizzle over my beans, and a Blue Duck Pugliese bread from the IGA, to scoop them up. Now I'm just watching the clock.

Here is the recipe:

Tuscan-Style Beans
Serves 8

Table salt
2 cups dried beans (white are traditional)
2 sprigs fresh sage leaves
1 bay leaf
1 head of garlic
Fine sea salt
Ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil

1. Dissolve 3 tablespoons of salt in 4 quarts of cold water in a large bowl. Add the beans and let them stand for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. Drain and rinse well.
2. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Combine the rinsed beans, sage, bay leaf, whole head of garlic, and 10 cups of fresh water in a large Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over high heat, cover the pot, and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the beans are tender, 1 to 2 hours depending on how fresh they are.
3. Drain almost all of the cooking liquid form the beans and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Spoon portions into bowls, drizzle with your best olive oil, and serve.


  1. How did they come out? I understand that these beans are so fresh that they only need an hour or so to soften... keep us posted on the cooking times!

  2. You are right--they spent about 50 minutes in the oven after about 18 hours in the salt water. They were great. Are you ordering soon? What else have you tried that is good?