Inspired by this post, I made beans for Saturday supper. Before we went to a fancy event that morning, I put beans in the crockpot on low with a few garlic cloves, a bit of sage, and some olive oil. I was betting that we wouldn't be very hungry or energetic at suppertime, but still need something.
I was totally surprised at the success of the supper! I think it's going to be our standard Saturday supper! Cheap, easy, customizable, delicious.
We had the beans in soup plates with more olive oil and salt. Then there was good sourdough bread (from the market), thin slices of Parmesan, and sliced tomato. It was so perfectly, elementally balanced.
On other Saturdays, I could swap out the fresh tomato for a home-canned tomato in the soup plate, or a wedge of fresh crunchy cabbage or even a dish of dried figs. Something pickled would be delicious here, or even a bit of prosciutto or salami.
The fancy lady even put down her Bible and joined us.
More Details on How I Cooked the Beans:
I do not buy commercially canned beans. I put 2 cups dry beans in my slow cooker, add 5-6 cups water, and turn it on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours (this varies depending on the time I have and the age of the beans - I don't know how old the dry beans are, but I've read that older ones take longer). Then I let the whole cooker cool until I have time to portion the beans/liquid into jars and freeze them. This is a habitual task in my kitchen, but I see that I have barely blogged about it! I will try to remedy that. (Here are simple black beans, starting with dry beans also).
These supper beans were a variation on the basic method I just described. I started with the 2 cups dry pinto beans and water, but also added 3 whole garlic cloves, 1/2 tsp. dried sage, and 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil. A few hours later, I stirred the beans and added some salt. At the table, we added more salt, pepper, and more olive oil. The simplicity of the beans meant that they were a great base for whatever accompaniments I had on hand. It's lovely to mop up the salty bean juices and olive oil with bread.
This sounds nice, Margo - very nice! I'll keep it in mind for the cooler weather. (Meanwhile, I'm enjoying this bit of warmth right now!)
Oh - did you soak the beans overnight first? Or use them straight out of the bag? Thanks.
Lisa, I did not soak them. That would speed it up, but I only soak if I think of it ahead of time. The crockpot is wonderful for beans. It can take 2-5 hours, depending on the age of the beans and the heat of your cooker.
I'm not someone who can look at a post and configure a recipe to suit my own taste, even though I've been cooking for oh so many years! :) Can you jot down how you did your beans when you have a chance? Thanks!
Huzzah for slow cooker beans. Its my favorite thing about my slow cooker. Though the keeping-the-heat-outside-in-the-summer part is pretty good, too. How nice that it was such an unexpected success. That is worth another huzzah.
Thank you for the link on eating beans! I can dry beans and they taste just like the post described. They are so incredibly buttery and delicious I could just get a spoon and eat them straight out of the jar! Here is a link for the canning method I use-http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-dried-beans.html
I think it is the simplest thing I can since there is so little prep work involved.
Great idea, especially with the cooler weather coming on...
I read that post too, and was planning beans for tomorrow.
I got a free range duck for dinner yesterday (on offer). Not a huge amount of meat for 5 of us, but the crispy skin and lots of potatoes roasted in the fat stopped any complaints. It means I have a duck carcass, so I think I'll use the stock and we'll have the beans, first with tomato like you and then with cooked sausages- a kind of (very) thrifty cassoulet.
How nice that your kids will eat beans. Mine won't touch them with a 10 foot pole.
I am not sure of how to ask my question delicately, but I'll try. I've always read that soaking beans not only softens them but also reduces intestinal gas if you discard the soaking water and use fresh for cooking them. Does anyone want to weigh in on this, and whether cooking the beans as recommended in the recipe has any effect on a person's innards? I would love to try this recipe - it sounds delicious, nutritious, thrifty - all good things.
ha, Jenny-o, that is a good question!! I've read that intestinal discomfort from beans also depends on how accustomed a person is to beans. The more you eat them, the more your body handles them without a fuss. This has been true for our family. However, I've also read that discarding the soaking water from beans also lessens the effects.
Good point to consider ... maybe the obvious solutions (in this case, reducing bean consumption) are not always the best!
My beautiful princess/fancy lady!
Deliciousness! I adore beans. The addition of sage sounds marvelous--I need to try that, and also adding more olive oil! I tend to just soak-n-cook using water only and maybe a shake of salt or pepper. I bet my family would appreciate the added herb and fat!
Insfar as soaking goes, I can eat beans any old day and they never bother me, but my husband cannot even used commercially-canned beans without getting horrible heartburn. Ergo, the longer soak benefits him!
Just placed pinto beans in the crockpot! I have always just cooked beans on the stove but I think I am going to really love this method!
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