I find pulses ( beans, lentils, chickpeas ) great emergency food to have in the pantry. They do not spoil, are super -healthy, nutritious and very versatile. As a practical matter, in these uncertain times they may be easier to find in your local supermarket than items such as pasta and rice and provide a very tasty and satisfying alternative.
I like to use dried pulses and soak them over night.
Here are some dishes using cannellini beans which are a particular favourite.
• soak 600 gr organic cannellini beans over night
• next day put them in a pot and cover them with water
• add 2 fresh bay leaves, little olive oil and half an onion
• boil until tender ( about 20 minutes)
• skim off the foam that will appear on top of the water
• once the beans are tender, add salt and let them cool in the water
• once cool, drain and keep them in the fridge until needed
There are many ways in ‘dressing up’ the beans to make a wholesome salad or warm dish. Here are some ideas.
• I have not given quantities, because it depends for how many people you want to prepare a meal. Use 2-3 tablespoons of beans per person roughly.
• A COLD SALAD OF CANNELLINI BEANS AND AVOCADO
• mix some finely chopped Spanish onion
• Italian parsley and coriander chopped
• avocado squashed
• salt and pepper to taste
• some good olive oil
• TUNA SALAD WITH CANNELLINI BEANS
• adding a tin of tuna
• a few anchovies
• tomatoes cut into pieces
• fresh basilico and parsley
• salt and pepper
• good olive oil
• WARM CANNELLINI BEANS WITH BITTER GREENS
• this version is a warm dish
• sautée a chopped Spanish onion
• add some chopped kale and cavolo nero
• a little chilli some seeds removed
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• now the beans and sautée for a few minutes
• add salt and pepper to taste
• CANNELLINI BEANS WITH TOMATO SAUSE AND SPINACH
• fry a chopped Spanish onion in a little oil and butter
• add a few anchovies
• tomato concentrate and let it cook for a few minutes
• now add some pelati
• salt and pepper
• fresh basilico
• mix the beans through and let them heat up
• at the very end fold in a handful of baby spinach
These are just a few ideas for using cannellini beans. They mix well with so many different things that, like pasta, it’s really a matter of imagination and experiment.