These herby white beans are light, refreshing and perfect served alongside a leafy green salad and grilled fish. I prefer to soak my beans, for some extra flavor, but feel free to skip and use canned beans.
My favorite way to enjoy the herby beans is to serve on a slice of toasted baguette, smeared with goat cheese and topped with a dollop of creme fraiche.
HERBY WHITE BEANS
makes about 2 ½ cups
8 oz cannelloni beans, dried
8 oz navy or butter beans, dried
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 tablespoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, cut in half
Juice and zest of 1 medium lemon
2 tablespoons agave (or maple syrup)
½ cup olive oil
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Pinch of flaky sea salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup fresh herbs, chopped (any mix of herbs works, but I recommend parsley and oregano)
Place dried cannelloni beans in a large bowl and navy beans in another large bowl. Fill both bowls with water, completely covering the beans, with about 3 inches of water above. Soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Rinse beans and transfer to two large pots. It’s important to keep the beans separate since they will cook at different times. Cover pots two inches of water and add 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 2 lemon halves to each. Bring the water to a gentle boil and skim any access foam off the top. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about one hour, checking at 30 minutes. Beans are done when they are tender, but not mushy and have a slight bite to them. Drain beans and let cool in a colander, until room temperature.
In a small bowl, make the herby vinaigrette. Whisk together juice and zest of lemon, agave, remaining olive oil, shallot, red pepper flakes, flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped herbs.
Transfer beans to serving bowl and pour in herby vinaigrette. Gently toss the beans until evenly coated, making sure not to smush the beans in the process. Taste for seasoning + serve.