A Not So Simple Pot of Beans

I originally posted this recipe back in April. I figure since many of you are new to the blog, it would be a nice introduction to see how simple, and satisfying, it is to cook from scratch.

Don't let the title of this recipe fool you. There's nothing fussy or difficult about cooking the beans. It's what you add to the pot that elevates them from humble peasant food to culinary excellence. The cooking liquid is quite flavorful too, so feel free to stir it into soups and sauces in which you plan to use the beans too.

1 cup uncooked navy, black or pinto beans, picked over and rinsed

4 cups cold water

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled

Generous pinch of sea salt and finely ground black pepper

Combine all of the ingredients in a 4-quart pot. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce flame to lowest setting. Cover pot and let the beans cook at a gentle simmer until tender, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the freshness of your beans.

Remove the pot from heat and let the beans cool. Transfer to a container with the cooking liquid, cover and store in the refrigerator for up to one week, or freeze for up to two months.