White Beans With Pesto
Use pistou made with basil for this salad, or one of the more unusual pestos, like arugula pesto or chermoula. The pesto will contrast beautifully with the creamy flavor of the beans.
- 2 cups dried white beans, picked over and soaked for four to six hours, or 3 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 onion, cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 cup pistou, arugula pesto (made without the pine nuts or walnuts) or chermoula
1. Drain the beans, and place in a pot with 2 quarts water, the onion, garlic and bay leaf. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer one hour. Add salt to taste, and simmer for another 30 minutes to an hour until the beans are soft and fragrant. Remove the onion and the bay leaf, and drain the beans through a colander set over a bowl.
2. Return the beans to the pot with some of the broth, and stir in the pistou, pesto or chermoula. Thin out as desired with the broth from the beans. If using canned beans, use a little warm water to thin out the pesto if desired. Serve warm or room temperature.
Yield: Serves six.
Advance preparation: The cooked beans freeze well and can be cooked up to three days ahead. Toss them with the pesto, so long as you don’t add the cheese, and freeze. Alternately, you can freeze the beans with their broth and drain after thawing. Stir in the pesto just before serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 302 calories; 11 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 5 milligrams cholesterol; 38 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams dietary fiber; 178 milligrams sodium (does not include salt added during cooking); 15 grams protein.