Lemony White Beans
This recipe is from our Spring edition of Sobremesa, titled Begin. The meal is inspired by Spring’s delicate nature and a dawning of green — and this beautifully cooked bean stew is a typical welcome to the season. This version is full of herbs, lemon and garlic (all the good things in life). Be sure to buy a nice heirloom bean and keep a close eye not to overcook.
3 cups dried white beans 6 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 cups garlic confit (cloves + oil)
1/4 cup tarragon, chopped1⁄2 cup mint, chopped
1 1/2 lemons, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch baby greens, for serving
1⁄8 cup herb aioli, more on the side
Place beans in a large bowl and cover with cool water ensuring there are about 3 inches of water above the beans. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
Pour beans and liquid into a large cast iron pot and add more liquid, if needed, to ensure the beans are covered with 2–3 inches of water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and bring to a boil. Using a slotted or mesh spoon Remove any scum that rises to the top throughout the cooking process.
In a small pan, sear lemon halves in 1 tablespoon of olive oil face down for 3 minutes, until charred and add to beans.
Add lemon halves, garlic confit, half of the chopped tarragon and mint (reserve remaining herbs for serving) and bring to a simmer.
Reduce the heat to very low and cook the beans (barely simmering for 2 hours, this will help retain the bean’s shape) gently stirring intermittently. Add 2 teaspoons of salt after 1 hour, and 2 more teaspoons 30 minutes later, tasting and seasoning as you go.
To serve, drizzle in herb aioli and top with herbs and market baby greens. The greens are not a necessity, but a nice addition and you’ll find many beautiful, delicate spring greens at the market