I'm torn between these breakfast beans and another recipe i have adapted from Stephanie Alexander's A Cook's Companion. I guess this dish is a more 'hearty' one than Stephanie's, which uses cannellini beans and artichokes. It has more of an antipasto vibe.
Although there is breakfast in the title these beans can be eaten any time of day. A bowl of these for dinner with some fresh soft bread and some shavings of parmesan is a staple at our house.
This is a mega serve..you can halve all measurements and it will serve approx. 4 peeps. But i like to make this amount, eat a bit and freeze the rest [omitting the olives and parsley and stirring them in once reheated]. Frozen in single serves they are ready for those hangover mornings when you need the beans but could not stomach the cooking process...And if used for that purpose i suggest a poached egg and a salty hashbrown!!
inspired by jamie oliver's humble beans recipe and 'henry's beans' served at a minor place cafe in brunswick.
500gms white beans -haricot, cannellini, lima...your choice
6 cloves of garlic -unpeeled
6 sprigs of thyme
2 sprigs of rosemary
6 bay leaves
2 small-medium potatoes -peeled and halved
4 cherry tomatoes or 2 large ones
extra virgin olive oil
red wine vinegar
slices of sour dough -for toast
Drain the soaked beans and give them a good rinse.
Place them in a large, deep pot and cover them with cold water.
Add the garlic, sprigs of thyme and rosemary, bay leaves, potato and tomatoes.
Put the pot on the stove and at med-high heat slowly bring to the boil. Once at boil turn the heat to med-low, cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 45 minutes to an hour. This will depend on whether you are using fresh or dried. You want the beans to be soft and cooked through. It could take longer -so be patient.
Skim off the top when necessary, topping up with boiling water if you need to. Do not use cold water as this will stop the cooking process...Have the kettle boiled and ready to go!
When the beans are cooked drain them in a colander, reserving the cooking water.
Remove the garlic, herbs, potato and tomatoes from the beans. Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins and in a separate bowl mash them with the tomatoes and potatoes.
Return the beans to the pot, pour the cooking water to cover them halfway up and add the mash. Season well with salt and pepper and a few generous glugs of extra virgin olive oil and a few splashes of vinegar. Stir in the olives and parsley.
Serve on some toasted bread with cracked pepper and a decent drizzle of e.v.o.o ...... yum!