This simple combination of ingredients has become my saving grace. I make Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens at least once or twice a month. It’s an absolute weeknight staple in our house and we devour it. But as many times as I’ve made that dish, I always soak and cook too many beans and am left with a giant pile. I’ve found that cooked beans don’t last especially well and so I’ve wasted them more times than I’m really happy to admit.
Molly Katzen has single-handedly saved me and my beans from that fate with this little recipe. It’s so simple as to be a fantastic reminder that smaller – lighter – less – are often the best things to focus on when it comes to food. There are no bells and whistles to this salad – no other vegetables at all in fact – just a jumble of fresh herbs and some olive oil and acid. It makes a really great lunch salad and I imagine a buttered hunk of crusty bread would go well but it’s quite filling alone.
I typically throw in some lemon zest and chopped walnuts because (you guessed it) I have them left over from the Pan-Fried White Beans and Greens. You don’t have to include them but they certainly add a nice touch.
White Beans and Fresh Herbs
adapted from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Molly Katzen
- 1.5 cups dry white beans
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Small handful walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Lemon zest from about 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
- Large pinch of salt
- Lots of freshly ground black pepper
- Soak beans: place dried beans in a large pot and cover with about 3 inches of cold water. Set aside to soak for at least eight hours or overnight.
- Drain soaked beans and return to pot. Cover generously with water and bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for about 1 – 1.5 hours, adding water as necessary and stirring occasionally, until tender.
- Once beans are done, drain and place them in a medium sized bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients to the beans and mix gently. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Cover tightly and chill until cold.