Beans and Garlic Toast in Broth
Image courtesy of The New York Times.
Among the many beauties of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market are the numerous varieties of beans. Available at every market from many vendors, beans are a staple. I cook beans often and freeze the surplus to have some almost always on hand to use when I crave beans on the spur of the moment. (No canned beans for me!)
This recipe appeared recently from Tejal Rao in the New York Times, and, if you have frozen beans on hand, it’s quick and easy to prepare. If you don’t have frozen beans on hand and must cook them, it’s still simple. Cloud Cliff Bakery’s sourdough is the perfect bread for toasting and rubbing with garlic and then topping with hot beans and bean broth.
- 1 cup dried beans, such as cannellini or cranberry
- 1 small onion, peeled and left whole
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- Up to 4 ounces Parmesan rinds
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 thick slices crusty sourdough bread
- Extra-virgin olive oil to taste
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- 2 tablespoons parsley leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon marjoram leaves, washed and chopped
- Finishing salt, such as Maldon, to taste
- Finely grated Parmesan, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- If you remember, soak the beans in cold water overnight, or for 10-12 hours.
- Rinse beans, and place in a large heavy-bottomed pot with onion, garlic, Parmesan rinds, olive oil and salt. Cover beans with water, so the water level is a couple of inches above the beans, and bring to a boil, then turn heat down so it’s simmering gently. Put a lid on the pot, and cook until beans are tender, adding more water as needed to keep the beans submerged. This could take 1-2 hours or more, depending on the beans and whether or not you soaked them. (If you’re using an electric pressure cooker: Add 5 cups water, set the machine to high pressure and cook for 25 minutes, then allow the machine to slowly depressurize on its own.)
- Use a spoon to fish out the onion, garlic and cheese rinds; discard. Taste a couple of beans along with the broth. It should be opaque and slightly creamy; adjust the seasoning with more salt if needed.
- Brush both sides of each piece of bread with olive oil, and place on a foil-lined sheet pan. Run the pan under the broiler for 2 minutes, so the bread is crisp at the edges and nicely toasted, then flip bread and repeat. While the bread is still hot, rub a garlic clove along one side of each piece, as if you were grating the garlic on the bread, pushing just firmly enough for the clove to fray and dissolve slightly into the bread.
- To assemble, place a piece of bread at the bottom of 4 shallow, wide bowls and ladle hot beans and broth on top. Wait a few seconds for the bread to absorb some broth, then ladle a little extra on each one, so it’s swimming.
- Garnish the bowls generously: Drizzle olive oil all over the beans, sprinkle with herbs and crunchy salt, cover with finely grated Parmesan and grind a little black pepper on top.
This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!