Although it took a long time to make these White Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Sage, the effort level was small and the rewards were tremendous. I realized at about 3:00 this morning in the middle of glazing some donuts at work that I forgot to soak the beans overnight. This was a little unnerving as I was determined to do another dried bean recipe. When I got home I immediately checked the recipe and found to my delight that there is no soaking required. Yay!
Boiling the beans with the onion, carrot, garlic, and bay leaves add tremendous flavor too. I have to admit, I tasted the beans several times while the tomatoes were cooking. The cookbook says you can use canned beans instead, but I can't imagine how you would get canned beans to taste so good. The recipe does use two pots, but I managed to do the dishes while making it so it all came out even in the end!
So yeah, this is one of the tastiest bean dishes I've ever had. It totally hit the spot tonight. I even helped myself to seconds. Fortunately it makes a lot of beans and I can have them for lunches for the rest of the week. These beans are also ridiculously good for you, low calorie, high in protein and fiber. They also are crazy cheap to make provided you have a well stocked pantry and an herb garden. And they are so very delicious.
White Beans with Tomatoes, Garlic, and Sage
courtesy of The New Best Recipe Cookbook
1 pound dried white beans (navy, great northern or cannellini) rinsed and picked over
1 medium onion, unpeeled and halved through the root end
1 medium carrot cut into 2 inch chunks
1 garlic head, top quarter cut off and loose papery skin removed
2 bay leaves
6 cups water
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
4 medium garlic cloves sliced thin
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh sage leaves
2 (15oz) cans diced tomatoes, drained
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley leaves
ground black pepper
Bring the beans, onion, carrot, garlic head, 1 tsp salt, the bay leaves, and water to a boil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, partly cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are almost tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more liquid if necessary. Remove the pot from the heat, completely cover, and let stand until the beans are fully tender, 30 to 60 minutes. Drain the beans, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Remove and discard the onion, carrot, and bay leaves. With a slotted spoon, transfer the head of garlic to a cutting board. Using the tongs, squeeze the cloves out of the skins and return the softened cloves to the pot with the beans; discard the skins.
Heat the olive oil, sliced garlic, and sage in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. As the oil begins to sizzle, shake the pan back and forth so that the garlic does not stick (stirring with a wooden spoon will cause the garlic to clump). Cook until the garlic turns very pale gold and the sage darkens, about 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 tsp salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the tomato juices have evaporated and the tomatoes look shiny, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the beans and reserved cooking liquid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. 18 to 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, accompanied by extra virgin olive oil for drizzling.