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Continued: Recipes: Down-East Baked Beans, Tuscan Beans With Olive Oil and more

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  • Last update: January 23, 2013 - 4:18 PM

Carbohydrates 68 g Calcium 230 mg

Protein 19 g Cholesterol 12 mg Dietary fiber 12 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 1½ other carb, 1½ lean meat, 1½ fat.

 

TUSCAN BEANS WITH OLIVE OIL AND AROMATICS

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: This dish could be a main dish with bread and a salad or a side dish to grilled chicken breast, pork chop or steak. From “The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” by Nancy Harmon Jenkins.

• 1 1/2 c. dried white beans, such as cannellini, soaked overnight and drained

• Any or all of the following aromatics: 1 small onion, quartered; 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed; 4 or 5 sage leaves; 2 bay leaves; 2 bay leaves; 12 black peppercorns; 1 small dried hot red chile

• 1/4 c. best-quality extra-virgin olive oil

• Sea salt and freshly ground black or white pepper

• 1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley

Directions

Set beans in a saucepan and add 3 1/2 cups water and any or all of the aromatics. Do not add salt. Bring water to a boil, turn the heat down, cover the beans and simmer gently for 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours, adding boiling water from time to time if necessary to keep the beans from scorching. Be attentive; if the water gets low, the beans will scorch very quickly. Cooking time depends on the size and age of the beans, which is hard to assess. At the end of 30 minutes, start testing the beans to judge how tender they are and continue testing periodically until the beans are done. They should be very tender but not falling apart.

Remove beans from the heat and drain them, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the aromatics used in cooking the beans. At this point, if you wish, remove about 1/2 to 3/4 cup cooked beans and crush them gently, using a fork, in about 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Then stir in the crushed beans with the whole cooked beans. Add more cooking liquid if you wish to reach the desired consistency. Or leave all the beans whole and add 1/2 cup or more of the reserved cooking liquid.

Add olive oil to the beans while hot and stir to coat the beans well. Dress them with one of the combinations or devise your own:

• 1 garlic clove, minced, and 6 green onions, both white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal

• A little chopped raw onion and finely slivered fresh green chiles.

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