There are so many good-tasting, nutritious options for prepared beans out there that I almost always use canned. My favorite brands are S & W and Goya. Always drain canned beans well since the liquid can make them salty. You can also rinse them in a colander to remove even more salt.
When I do make beans from scratch, I usually use an oven-baked method. I make these oven-baked cannellini beans (small white beans) in an oven-proof cast-iron pot. Le Creuset, Staub, and Lodge are three well-known brands, but I use and love my Tramontina pot, which I found at Target.
Serve these beans as a side dish, or pair them with rice for a healthful entree. Any type of roasted veggie would be nice with these. So would sauteed greens.
This recipe ran in The Californian newspaper as a reprint from Things Cooks Love by Marie Simmons.
Oven-Baked Cannellini Beans (serves eight)
- 1 pound (about 2 1/2 c) dried cannellini beans (or other dried white beans)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sm yellow onion, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 c water or unsalted broth, as needed (I use half water and half Better Than Bouillon)
- coarse salt and ground black pepper
Place beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover them by at least two inches. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours, or overnight.
Drain beans in a colander.
Heat oven to 325. In a medium to large Dutch oven (4-8 qts) combine beans, garlic, olive oil, onion, and bay leaf. Add enough water or broth to cover the beans.
Cover the pot and bake 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the beans are tender. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 30 minutes. As the beans cool, they will absorb most of the excess cooking liquid.
Scoop out and discard the onion halves and bay leaf. Use a mesh strainer to drain and discard any liquid not absorbed by the beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.