Cannellini Beans

Let us be totally honest here; at this point in this month, most of us have been to at least one party or gathering, and have shared cheer over platters of rich, tasty food.

What better time, then, to mebbe take a step back and and make some, also quite tasty, food that is actually not gonna send you to the doctor for cholesterol meds?

Beans. In particular, dried cannellini beans, though this recipe, from Chef Anne Burrell, will work with most any dried bean.

•1 lb dried cannellini beans
•1 rib celery, cut in two
•1 large carrot, peeled and halved
•1 large onion, skin removed, halved*
•3 cloves garlic, smashed
•1 tsp dried thyme
•2 bay leaves
•2 slices bacon, uncooked
•1 tsp Kosher salt

*Chef Anne calls for peeling the onion, but leaving what she calls “the hairy end” on.

Rinse and pick through the beans in a colander, discarding and stones or discolored beans. Transfer to a pot, cover with water, cover the pot and set it on the back o’ the stove to rest over night.

Want these beans now, but you didn’t soak overnight? Cover with cold water, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and let rest until the water cools.

However you’ve prepped your beans, drain and rinse them one more time, then add to the pot with the remaining ingredients.

Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, or until the beans or tender.

Chef Anne uses the “five bean test” to ensure the beans are cooked properly. Take five beans from the pot and try them; if they are all tender, the pot is good to go. She explains that the same beans do not cook at the same time, so if a sample of five is good, the rest will be too.

So. Beans done – and pretty nice just as they are – but, tomorrow, we’re gonna turn these beans, strained out of the cooking liquid and veggies, into a bean, tomato, and spinach soup with ‘shrooms and a fried egg on top.

What a great soup, almost party worthy, but still, pretty darned healthy…

it’s a holidaze miracle!

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