These wonderful beans are the ultimate in simplicity. A traditional dish from the Tuscany region of Italy, white beans are humbly flavored with garlic, fresh sage and olive oil - nothing more. The result is anything but ordinary! The sage gives the beans an earthy aroma and the garlic adds a nice savory note. The beans create a lovely broth as they cook which you can drain off or serve with the beans as more of a soup (be sure to serve with bread for dipping!) To give the beans a special kick, try adding some additional minced garlic or a splash of white wine vinegar at the end of cooking!
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1 pound dried great northern beans
6 cups cold water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
additional olive oil

Cooking Instructions

Sort through the beans, rinse, drain and then place in a large saucepan. Add cold water to cover by several inches and leave to soak overnight.

Drain the beans and return to the saucepan. Add the 6 cups of cold water, 1/4 cup of olive oil, chopped sage and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are just tender but not falling apart (45 minutes to 1 hour.) Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beans to a pre-warmed bowl. Top with additional olive oil.

Makes 6 servings



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If you are pressed for time or have forgotten to soak the beans overnight, you can perform a quick soak. Cover the beans with cold water in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. After removing from the heat, let the beans stand, covered, for 1 hour. Drain and then continue with the recipe as it is written.

You always want to add salt towards the end of cooking when preparing beans from scratch. Adding salt at the beginning can cause the skins of the beans to toughen making them more difficult to digest and less pleasant to eat.

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