Wow, I was really pleased with how these turned out! It is so hard to come up with something different to do with beans. I am happy to eat the old standards, but we eat enough beans that new ideas are always welcome.
In retrospect, I put too much of the cooking liquid in with them, and they ended up pretty soupy. I must have put in 3 cups or so, and really about half that would have been plenty. I’m sort of not telling you how much to put in though; it will depend on how you like your beans and to some degree how much cooking liquid you have. I like to put my beans on toast so I want them a little juicy rather than flowing like a river. On the other hand, you don’t want them to dry out.
If you save any extra cooking water it would be good to thin leftovers into soup. For soup, I would purée it. Of course, that assumes you don’t just eat it all.
If you prefer, you can replace the rosemary with thyme, assuming you can find some that is any good.
6 to 8 servings
1 hour 20 minutes – 20 minutes prep time
not including cooking the beans
Cook the Beans:
2 cups dried white beans
Wash and pick over the beans, and put them in a pot with plenty of water to cover them. Bring them up to a boil, let them boil for a couple of minutes, then cover the pot and turn it off. Let soak for a couple of hours.
Repeat boiling and soaking once or twice more, until the beans are fairly soft but not broken. Add more water if they need some.
This can be done a day in advance.
Bake the Beans:
2 heads garlic
1/4 cup sunflower seed or olive oil
the finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
the juice of 1 medium lemon
1 teaspoon rubbed rosemary, OR fresh minced rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Peel the garlic and chop it coarsely. Put it in a small bowl with the olive oil, and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Put the beans, along with a little puddle of their cooking liquid, into an 8″ x 10″ shallow roasting (lasagne) pan. Grate in the lemon zest, and add the lemon juice. Add the remaining seasonings, and mix well.
Drizzle the garlic and oil over the top of the beans. Bake for 1 hour. Stir before serving.
Last year at this time I made Hungarian Mushroom Duck Soup.