White Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

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Beans are easily one of the most underrated foods… especially white beans.

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They go with everything, can take on the flavor of anything and are creamy yet healthy… a true dream.  Especially when you give beans the love they deserve.

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Simmering dried beans with onions are garlic then sauteing with tomatoes… herbs… more garlic.  Insanely simple yet ridiculously satisfying.

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Want more motivation to eat beans? It’s the common denominator in blue zones (regions of the world where people live the longest), they are affordable, delicious and a good source of protein.  They were a super food before super foods were cool and had hard to pronounce names.  I hope you check them out in this recipe!

You’ll need:

  • 1 pound dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 medium onion, unpeeled and halved through root end
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 2” length (don’t have to peel)
  • 1 head garlic, top quarter cut off and loose papery skins removed, plus four cloves sliced thin
  • Salt/pep
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 0.25 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped basil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

To Make:

  1. Bring the beans, onion, carrot, garlic head, 1 teaspoon salt, bay leaves and 6 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until beans are almond tender, about 1 hour (can add more water if necessary… I didn’t have to).
  2. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand another 30-60 minutes until fully tender (mine took 30).
  3. Drain beans, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.  Remove and discard onion, carrot and bay leaves.  Transfer garlic to cutting board, squeeze out cloves and return cloves to beans (they will sort of melt into beans as recipe goes on)
  4. Heat olive oil and sliced garlic in skillet over medium heat.  Cook a few minutes until garlic is pale gold.  Add tomatoes and 0.5 teaspoon salt and simmer for ten minutes.
  5. Stir in beans and cooking liquid.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 18-20 minutes until liquid has evaporated.  Stir in basil.  Season with salt/pep.  Optional extra drizzle of olive oil at end.  Serve with big hunk of bread.

 

Inspired by epicurious

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