Today’s recipe for National Celiac Awareness month continues our tribute to beans! Since we covered black beans with yesterday’s recipe, we decided to go to the other end of the spectrum with a white bean. This aromatic dish is pulled from the cookbook Fields of Greens and we can’t top their description of this recipe: “Cannellini beans make their own rich sauce as they slowly simmer in their broth with onions, fruity olive oil, and sage.” Cannellini beans are related to the kidney bean and sometimes referred to as “white kidney beans.” These beans are widely used in Italian dishes and loved for their high protein and fiber, but low fat, content!
An interesting note about cannellini beans is that it is recommended that they be boiled for 10 minutes prior to their main cooking. The reason for this is because the cannellini bean has a component that causes gastric distress, but if the beans are boiled for 10 minutes prior to cooking, the component is removed. For this reason, it is wise to first boil cannellini beans prior to using them in slow cooker recipes because the slow cooker will not get hot enough to remove the compounds that can cause gastric upset.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Warm Cannellini Beans with Sage
Yield: serves 4 to 6 people
- 2 cups dried cannellini beans, about 12 ounces, sorted and soaked overnight
- 6 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 fresh winter savory or thyme sprigs
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium-size yellow onion, cut into 1/2 pieces
- Sea Salt and Pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup dry vegan white wine
- 1/2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
Drain the soaked beans and rinse them well. Pour into a large saucepan with the water, bay leaf, savory, and 2 of the sage leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes. Watch them closely during the last 5 to 10 minutes to make sure the skins have softened and the beans have opened but still hold their shape. Remove the herbs and bay leaf. Leave the beans in their broth.
While the beans are cooking, chop the remaining sage leaves. Heat the oil in a large skillet; add the onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Saute over medium heat until the onion begins to release its juices. Add the garlic and sage; saute for about 20 minutes, then add the wine and cook for a minute or two, until the pan is nearly dry.
Add the beans and their broth to the onions along with a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and a few pinches of pepper. Lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes, adding a little water if needed to keep the beans saucy. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the parsley just before serving.
We like to compliment this dish with some of the white wine that is used in it, and some fragrant jasmine rice.