Thursday, September 8, 2011

French White Beans

French White Beans

These beans have a more refined taste. Subtle with a wonderful touch of fresh rosemary and basil. We ate it as a thick soup then later in the week we pureed them to use as hummus.

4 cups uncooked white beans (or use canned beans & skip steps 1 & 2, adding the 3 ingredients in step 2)

1. Bring beans to boil in plenty of water, about 12 cups. Boil for only 3 mins., then set aside with lid on for at least 2 1/2 hrs. After soaking, rinse, rinse, rinse the beans in cool water and and rinse and scrub the pot. This method reduces hard-to-digest complex sugars by 80%. This is called a power soak. Overnight soaking methods don't remove the complex sugars as well as this short method.

2. Fill pot with fresh water about 3 inches above the beans, add the following ingredients, bring to a boil for 15 mins., then reduce to medium-low, and cover. Simmer gently until the water is absorbed and the beans are tender, 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. Don't boil beans furiously: they will burst their jackets and become mushy. Stir often. Make sure the water hasn't evaporated.
*If using a pressure cooker, cook on second red ring for 12 mins. and use natural release to cool down.

1 onion
3 bay leaves
optional:2 cloves garlic

3. When the beans are 30-45 mins. from being done, add the following:

2 tablespoons freshly minced rosemary (if you don't have any, hunt your neighborhood - someone will have a bush!)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil

4. When beans are thoroughly cooked (a bean is done when you can mash it with a fork), add:

2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice

5. Serve with any of the following:
a dollop of plain yoghurt
parmesan cheese
balsamic vinegar
freshly ground pepper
fresh parsley, basil, cilantro or rosemary

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