I think beans are a terrific food. High in nutrition and low in cost, big in flavor and very satisfying. I find that many people just don't know how to cook beans. The problem with beans are they do take some time to cook. When in a hurry I am not against going with the canned variety. But here's the rub, they don't taste as good, in my opinion and they cost more. So if you want to get the biggest bang for your buck, cook dry beans, use meat as a condiment or not at all and cook at home. I will be blogging about how to save you money with home cooked meals and enjoy the satisfaction of cooking and eating at home. Now I ask you, who doesn't love a home cooked meal, well prepared by the people who love you, and enjoyed by the people you love.
This is my favorite bean spread... this is not only healthy and delicious, it is an inexpensive treat. I prefer this spread to Chick Pea Hummus. I soak dried, organic, cannellini beans, covered with water , overnight. If you prefer use canned, saves time. I love this spread as a pre - dinner snack on toast, or an accompaniment also on toast with a salad for lunch.
How to cook the beans:
I start with 1 cup of dried cannellini beans. I cover them with water by 2-3 inches and place in the refrigerator overnight. I then rinse the beans thoroughly. Place them in a pot cover them with water and add a good pinch of salt. I bring the beans to a boil, lower to a simmer. Cover and simmer the pot gently until the beans are cooked through and tender, but not falling apart, about 1 hour - 1 1/2 hours.
1 1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans
1 large clove garlic
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pinch of salt
3 turns of the pepper mill, coarsely cracked pepper
2 Tbs. olive oil
10 fresh washed basil leaves torn into bite sized pieces
Put all of the ingredients in a food processor except the basil. Process until smooth, then fold in the torn basil leaves. Serve immediately with toast or serve with vegetable sticks such as carrots, celery and red peppers.
Recipe, writing and photos by Karen Pickus 2011
Courtesy, Karen Pickus 2011