Tuscan-Style White Beans
An overnight soak is the best way to draw out the flavors.
“Soaking beans overnight yields a completely different flavor profile; the brine is so much more authentic compared to the canned version and isn’t filled with preservatives,” says New York City-based chef Nick Anderer. Here, he infuses the protein-rich ingredient with fresh sage and garlic. While it’s delicious on its own, Anderer also suggests using it as a pasta sauce, a condiment for fish or meat, or in a salad with a hearty green like kale.
Serves 10 to 20
- 2 pounds cannellini beans
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
- 1 bunch of sage
- 1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves with skin on
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Cracked black pepper
In a large bowl, place the beans and cover with two quarts of water. Add two tablespoons of salt, then cover and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight.
Fill a disposable sachet with the sage and garlic and tie with string.
Drain the soaked beans and rinse under cold running water. Place rinsed beans in a large pan; cover with two and a half quarts of water and bring to a boil adding in the sachet, remaining two tablespoons of salt, and the three tablespoons of olive oil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 40 minutes or until the beans have softened without splitting excessively, then remove from heat.
Remove the sachet, squeezing it first before discarding so that the garlicky-sage liquid is fully extracted. Let the beans cool in the liquid for several hours, then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Warm beans in a pan over medium heat for 10 minutes then transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with cracked black pepper.