Cannellini Beans with Garlic and Herbes de Provence (serves 4)
I am veering towards using dried beans and soaking them rather than canned beans. Not much can be messed up or added to dried beans and no salt. However, a lot of soaking and simmering is involved so it is a darned sight easier and quicker to use the canned variety. Pulses are good for you and very versatile. They stand alone as a veg. , make tasty dips, can be added to soups, stews, chillis and salads – and they are filling and cheap.
This recipe was originally meant to be a side dish for chicken or lamb, but once I had made it I pureed a bit to make a dip and I added extra broth to make it a soup. Herbes de Provence, which are quite widely available and last for ages, add far more flavor than just oregano.
2 x cups dried dried cannellini beans
10 x cups water (and add more if necessary during cooking)
3/4 cup chicken or veg. broth
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic
3 x pinches of Herbes de Provence
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cover the 2 cups of dried cannellini beans with water and soak for at least 8 hours in a cast iron bottomed pan (I use Le Creuset)
Tip out the water and cover beans with 10 cups of fresh water and add more during cooking when necessary.
Bring pan to boil and then simmer for 2 hours.
Put 1 tbsp. olive oil into same cast iron bottomed pan along with salt and pepper.
When sizzling, add minced garlic and cook for a minute or 2 (don’t let garlic brown).
Add 3 pinches of Herbes de Provence.
Taste test and adjust seasonings accordingly.
Bring pan to boil