Beautiful beans

Why, when I cook lentils and chickpeas all the time, with varying degrees of success, do I always shy away from beans? The presoaking time, perhaps? The fact that they often don’t actually have much taste?

Flageolet beans, the tiny pale green offerings from specialty stores, are the beans to change all that, and they have a lovely, almost nutty taste, and a far shorter soak-and-cook time  than the  larger kidney beans. I bought them on spec on a Saturday market outing, and scoured the internet for inspiration until I found this well-reviewed offering.

Soak the beans overnight. Braise bacon (I used pancetta), onions, carrots and fennel, then add the pre-soaked beans and water and cook at 300 or 350F for the best part of two hours, half covered and half uncovered, until the fennel melts to mush, the carrots soften and the beans are cooked.

I admit it needed a little something on the add-to-taste front, so a second time I threw in half a can of tomatoes and a tiny splash of maple syrup.

It made days of leftovers, and like all bean dishes, it got better by the day.

IMG_0732

I’ll make this one again.

But any other flageolet bean recipes out there?

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