After seeing these pictures of how wonderful a simple pot of beans could look, I was inspired to cook some dried beans myself. We usually use canned beans for all our beany needs, so I had to pick up a package of dried cannellini from the store.
I cooked them with a 4-5 cloves of garlic, a bunch of sage, and some salt, using the Russ Parsons method even though I had already soaked them overnight. In short, his method is to bring the beans to a boil on the stove, then chuck the entire pot, covered, in the oven at 350F and cook till done. I don’t know if it’s the method or the soaking, but these beans were soft at the 30 minute mark! I let them simmer for another 20 minutes in the oven while I cooked up the measly greens from our garden — kale and swiss chard with a clove of garlic.
The beans were then taken out of the pot with a slotted spoon, to allow the cooking liquid to drain. Dressed up with some quality olive oil, another pinch of salt, and some freshly crushed pepper, they were ready to serve.
Were these beans life-changing? Eaten with a few pieces of toasted bread, they were pretty good! Some of them did have a creamy consistency inside. The only shortcoming is that the skins were tougher than I would like. Maybe next time, adding some baking soda will make the skins as soft as the interior of the bean.
One thing that surprised me was that the bean cooking liquid, only flavored with sage, beans, garlic, and salt, turned into a tasty broth!