Giant Bean Gratin

I spent much of the fall and winter running around, while a pile of cookbooks waited patiently for me to cook from them. Now that I’m back in the saddle, and in the kitchen, I’m getting around to some of the many recipes that I’ve bookmarked. One of the first that caught my eye was the “Pizza beans” in Smitten Kitchen Every Day.


It also goes by the adult name, “Tomato and Gigante Bean Bake,” but since Deb Perelman, of Smitten Kitchen, has two kids, calling them “pizza” made them more alluring than “bean bake.” Me? I need no excuse to simmer up a pot of beans, especially in the winter, when I am looking for any excuse to keep the oven fires burning.

There was a movement when everyone was told not to salt dried beans when cooking them. And to throw a wrench in another possible misconception, Russ Parsons says you don’t even need to pre-soak them.

As someone who has, so far, managed to resist the allure of adding a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or slow pressure cooker, to what seems to be the ever-shrinking space in my admittedly more-spacious-than-before kitchen, I still pre-soak beans. Even though I trust Mr. Parsons 99 percent, I’m a 1 percenter and still waiting for someone to prepare a side-by-side comparison to see how they come out. Then I turned to the internet and, of course, Kenji did it.

Then there’s the controversy around adding salt to the water while the beans are cooking. Food needs to cook with salt, and doesn’t taste the same when it’s salted afterward. (I got into a tiff with a butcher in Paris about that, when I was served an unsalted steak.) So I add salt when the beans are partially cooked, to split the difference. The real enemy of dried beans is hard water, which I found out the hard way (no pun intended…) when I was cooking dried beans in France and they refused to soften in the mineral-rich water. A teaspoon of baking soda added to the water will often do the trick, and some people use bottled water. Buying dried beans that are less than a year old is helpful, too.


I’m not sure these kinds of beans have a name in French, except for perhaps géant. Haricots des Soissons are excellent and would work well. I found mine in a market that specializes in Turkish ingredients, but in the U.S., Rancho Gordo Royal Corona beans are A+.

(Sharp-eyed readers, and even those that aren’t so sharp-eyed, will see that I cooked the vegetables in one pot, which I did the day before, due to time constraints. I wasn’t just doing it to add some pretty colors in the pictures. I’ve put those notes at the end of the recipe in case you want to make part of this gratin ahead.)

Once done, the beans are mixed with the vegetables and crushed tomatoes. After spending some time under the broiler, the cheese on top becomes bubbly and brown, like Belgian endive gratin.


Unlike Deb’s kids, my charge, Romain, isn’t reluctant to eat beans. And he didn’t need any urging when he had his first taste of garlic bread.

But really, isn’t there anything not to like about a loaf of crusty bread, smeared with lots of garlic, good butter, and sprinkled with some Parmesan cheese before being toasted under a broiler, until the center of the bread is soaked with what tastes like liquid garlic, and the top is brittle, slightly salty from the cheese, and crunchy-brown? I think not.

A couple of things about this gratin. This was designed to be family friendly, and with two toddlers, I suspect Deb was keeping it on the tamer side. If you want a little more oomph to it, feel free to add some crumbled cooked sausage, bacon, or diced chiles. Next time I might add a handful of chopped fresh sage, oregano, or basil to the mix.

Unless you’ve got some hearty appetites in your household, you’ll likely have leftovers. You can put them in a smaller gratin dish and warm them in the oven, then add more cheese and run it under the broiler.

To be honest, this gratin sustained us through three meals. And since I’m being honest (and because I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to change the color of my enamelware dishes in Photoshop), it was best the third day, when all the ingredients had plenty of time to meld into a hearty, cheesy, bubbling gratin. It also gave me an excuse to make garlic bread again, and again, and again.

Giant Bean Gratin
Print Recipe
8 servings
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen Every Day by Deb PerelmanI used kale, but other sturdy greenery, like Swiss chard, broccolini, or mustard greens, would work. I made a few suggestions in the post about adding meat or extra herbs.You'll need to start with 1 pound (450g) of uncooked beans to get the right amount for the recipe. Coronas are ideal, but the beans I used didn't have the variety listed on the package. I know that there's a Polish bean that's quite large, and found an interesting blog post about them, along with some beans that are similar. Whatever you use, reserve some of the bean liquid if you want to use it in place of the wine (in step #2), and to add back to the beans before cooking, in place of the stock.Whatever you use, try to find the largest beans you can. This is a recipe where size matters.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/3 (80ml) cup white wine (or water, or bean liquid)
5 cups (120g) coarsely chopped kale leaves
2 1/4 cups (550g) canned crushed tomatoes
1 pound (450g) giant beans, cooked drained
about 1/2 cup (125ml) stock (vegetable or chicken) or bean liquid
8 ounces (225g) mozzarella, coarsely grated
1/3 cup (35g) grated Parmesan
coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
1. If you have 2 1/2 to 3 quart (2-3l) stovetop-friendly gratin dish, use that for preparing the vegetables. (You'll be baking the gratin in the same dish.) If your gratin (or similar sized dish, like a lasagna or braising pan) can't be used on the stovetop, prepare the vegetables in a large skillet.
2. Heat the olive oil in the dish or pan. Add the onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are wilted, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for another minute, then add the wine (or water or bean liquid), scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any stuck-on or browned bits of vegetables. When the wine has been absorbed, add the kale and cook until wilted. Preheat the oven to 475ºF (245ºC).
3. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Add the drained beans and cook everything together 5 to 10 minutes, adding up to 1/2 cup of stock if the mixture looks dry. Taste, and season with additional salt, if necessary. If you've prepared the vegetables and beans in a skillet, up to this point, transfer them to an oven-safe baking dish (as mentioned in step #1).
4. Sprinkle the mozzarella on top of the beans, then the Parmesan, and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned on top. If you wish, run the gratin under the broiler until the topping is browned to your liking. (If making garlic bread, you can cook it at the same time under the broiler.) Remove the gratin from the oven, top with parsley, and serve.

Serving: Although not required, this goes well with garlic bread. Warm butter with minced garlic and a pinch of salt. Remove from heat and let cool until spreadable (You can also add some dried oregano, a pinch of red pepper flakes to the butter, and/or some chopped parsley after the bread is baked.) Split a crusty loaf of bread, like a baguette, bâtard, or what's often referred to as "Italian bread" in the U.S.

Lay the bread on a sheet of foil, cut side up, smear garlic butter over the bread. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and run the bread until the broiler until the top is browned.

Storage: If making the dish in advance, you can refrigerate the vegetable mixture for up to three days in advance. Rewarm it before adding it to the baking dish. In which case, it may need a little more liquid added when being rewarmed.

 


A hearty dish made of giant white beans, tomatoes, and vegetables, under a blanket of bubbling cheese.


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75 comments

  • Brittany
    January 3, 2018 6:02pm

    Seeing you and Deb at the 92Y event last month was such a treat. Seeing that you guys are friends in real life made it even more cool for those of us who follow both of your blogs religiously! Now if we could just get Molly from Orangette in the mix, my food blogging dreams would be complete. Reply

  • Sheila
    January 3, 2018 6:24pm

    “My charge, Romain…” ha!
    Love that you have a recipe from Deb as she refers to you also. Fun seeing two cool people liking and respecting each other. Reply

  • Jayne Niemi
    January 3, 2018 6:27pm

    Looks terrific, reminds of Greece (gigante beans were everywhere as a side dish in that lovely oily, tomato sauce that’s not really a sauce. In MN, where the high is below zero these days, it’s especially tempting. Glad to see you liked Flour – ate breakfast there every day last time I was in Boston. Reply

    • January 3, 2018 6:58pm
      David Lebovitz

      Ah, I love those giant beans in Greece, too! Reply

  • Cyndy
    January 3, 2018 6:32pm

    Hi, David, we Pittsburgh natives would be much appreciative if you would correct our beloved city’s name spelling on your blog and newsletter! There’s a story behind the spelling that we are quite proud of. We fought for that “h” on the end. Plus it will save you some ribbing when you go there! Reply

    • January 3, 2018 6:57pm
      David Lebovitz

      I can’t unsend the newsletter but it’s been fixed in the online version. Thx. Reply

    • Bebe
      January 6, 2018 10:50pm

      It wouldn’t surprise me to find out that David’s spelling has to do with his Northern California roots and Pittsburg, CA. Reply

      • Jan
        January 13, 2018 9:44am

        Ha ha–I’m perennially confused on the spelling of that town, no matter the state, and I live w/in driving distance of the CA Pittsburg. Now I shall have to look up the story on that “h”. Also a fan of both David and Deb. Reply

  • Jenna
    January 3, 2018 6:32pm

    I’ve made this recipe three times since Deb’s cookbook came out. It’s delicious! And now I’m starting to think that it’s been too long since the last time I made it… Reply

    • Julie Larousse
      January 3, 2018 10:52pm

      Hello, that looks yummy. Can’t wait to try it. However, in the preamble to the recipe, you mention that one needs to start with 1 pound of uncooked beans to get the right amount, but the recipe itself call for 1 pound of cooked beans. I don’t quite understand the math here as one pound of uncooked beans would produce way more than one pound of cooked beans. Is there really only one pound of cooked beans in the dish? Reply

      • January 4, 2018 3:10am
        David Lebovitz

        Sorry it was confusing. You take 1 pound of dried beans and cook them. I didn’t think anyone would weight the beans once cooked, so it was better to use the uncooked weight but I’ll rewrite the recipe so it’s clearer. Reply

  • Madeline
    January 3, 2018 6:51pm

    As a fourth-generation Pittsburgher (still home although I moved away 50 years ago — we’re loyal!) I was going to comment on the missing and thank Cyndy for doing that! Sorry to have missed you at Flour, another great place. This recipe is perfect for the nor’easter heading our way. Thank you for your wonderful writing and cooking! Reply

    • Madeline
      January 3, 2018 6:54pm

      Edit — the missing “h” still went missing in my comment! Reply

  • January 3, 2018 7:12pm

    Just the kind of winter-warmer we love to read (and cook) about. This short note to thank you for all you contributed to the welbeing of your readers in 2017 and to wish you a wonderful, satisfying and happy New Year.
    I love beans, love especially the large beans (incl what we got as side dish in every place in Greece) and shall take due note of this recipe. When in CH in December, I noticed that garlic bread is still very much on mostly ‘Italian cuisine’ menus. It’s so easy to prepare and so expensive in restaurants. Reply

    • Nise
      January 4, 2018 12:46pm

      Hi Kiki,

      I think garlic bread is not really Italian, it is an American-Italian thing to have it with Spaghetti etc. I never had garlic bread in Italy as a side dish. And when it comes to CH and garlic bread, we have it in summer as a side when we do BBQs :) Reply

  • P
    January 3, 2018 7:21pm

    The french name for it might be Pois du Cap Reply

    • January 3, 2018 8:17pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks. I looked that up and seems like those are lima beans, and are used in the cooking of the Île de la Réunion. Mine weren’t labeled, but they are probably that, or close. Reply

  • Christine
    January 3, 2018 7:33pm

    I have Tarbais beans, will those do well in this dish? Thanks! Reply

    • January 3, 2018 8:13pm
      David Lebovitz

      You could certainly use them, although I haven’t tried. If you do, let us know how they turn out! Reply

  • Doug Wagner
    January 3, 2018 7:34pm

    Beans and black eyed peas at New Year is a Southern tradition in the US. They would easily substitute in this recipe….though I prefer to use smoked sausage or Kilbasa and potatoes Reply

  • Katie
    January 3, 2018 7:48pm

    That Pizza Bean recipe lured me in, too! And it did not disappoint, we made it every week for over a month before my family finally stopped asking for it (we still eat it, just not as often). And considering that my (six!) kids span the ages of 3-20, I think it’s safe to say that this is kid-friendly. I’m commenting here more to assure you that even oomph-ing it up still leaves my kids tearing through it. We’ve added spicy sausage, red pepper flakes, chopped olives, mushrooms, fresh basil. Go crazy.

    And thank you, thank you for mentioning that you cooked the vegetables the day before. Seems obvious now but it never occurred to me, and now I’m kicking myself because what a freaking time-saver THAT would have been when we were making it every week. I bet you could even make it and freeze it to have it ready to go after cooking fresh beans. (We tried freezing the entire dish afterward to see if it would keep, but…yeah, not a successful experiment.)

    So glad to see this recipe here! Reply

    • Alex S.
      January 4, 2018 9:36pm

      Hi Katie, I believe some of the people from Rancho Gordo say if you cook the beans you can freeze them with some bean juice. Of course, Steve says to cook a pound and have it for a week ;p
      David, I love your recipes, blog, newsletter and books, have been following you for ten years plus. happy new year. All the best. Reply

  • linda
    January 3, 2018 8:02pm

    thanks for giving pittsburgh back its “h” Reply

  • Kesa
    January 3, 2018 9:03pm

    How do you cook the beans? Reply

    • January 4, 2018 3:07am
      David Lebovitz

      I rinse them and sort for stones, then soak in water overnight. Then I put the beans in a pot and make sure they are covered with a few inches of water. I simmer the beans sometimes with a bay leaf for until tender, adding some salt midway during cooking. Most dried beans take at least an hour to cook this way but some take longer. Reply

  • Anne
    January 3, 2018 9:24pm

    For any vegans out there – this also tastes great without the cheese, though I do add vegan Field Roast sausage sometimes for my husband. Reply

    • Danita
      January 3, 2018 9:58pm

      I just bought some of that Field Roast sausage at our local PCC. Good idea. Reply

    • January 3, 2018 10:50pm

      That’s good to know, thanks Anne! Reply

    • January 9, 2018 3:16pm

      That’s good to know! I was thinking it might be delicious with Miyoko’s vegan mozzarella. Reply

    • Ttrockwood
      January 17, 2018 5:30am

      It’s great without the dairy! I did add in 1/3c nutritional yeast to the beans and veg mix but it would have been great without it too. Reply

  • KC
    January 3, 2018 9:28pm

    In the USA they are called either dried Lima beans or in the southern USA states they might be called dried butter beans. Reply

  • PF
    January 3, 2018 10:12pm

    Sounds great, I can’t wait to make it. Although there’re not giant, I’ve been loving Rancho Gordo’s Tarbais beans. And yes, I soak them- for 12 hours. They have an amazing creamy texture. If you live in or near Astoria or Sunnyside in Queens (NY) you can get Gigandes beans at Parrot. Reply

  • eli
    January 3, 2018 10:25pm

    Seriously…only you couldmake a bean dish look so tempting! Reply

  • Jayne Cookson
    January 3, 2018 11:19pm

    Working with a master printmaker the year that I lived in France, I wasn’t looking for gigantes, but on one of my trips to Athens, I had them. Back in the U.S., I have not been able to find them. Reply

    • Helen Kin
      January 4, 2018 12:18am

      I love gigantes. If you don’t have any Mediterranean or Middle Eastern markets near you, then you might want to go online and checkout the AROSIS brand selling a variety of beans from Greece. Reply

  • Kl
    January 3, 2018 11:44pm

    Another delicious recipe similar to this is Heidi Swanson’s Giant chipotle beans- in constant rotation at ours. Reply

  • Ethel
    January 4, 2018 12:31am

    In the southern USA, or rural southeastern NC, those are giant Lima beans and they cook up quickly when soaked. Reply

  • Hannah
    January 4, 2018 3:42am

    I made this recipe when Deb posted it on her blog…it was addicting and also sustained 2 people through several melas. Thanks for reminding me of it! ps I work at photography/post-production company. Next time you need some quick photoshop help just shout!! ;-) Reply

  • Carren
    January 4, 2018 5:52am

    This was a GREAT post! I also loved the links to the other articles! Just fun to read and so informative! Thank you! Can’t wait to make the recipe. I now have an informed game plan for cooking beans. A great post!!! :) Reply

  • January 4, 2018 8:20am

    Oh my, this gratin looks so hearty and comforting! I can’t wait to try it on the weekend, which is supposed to be so cold and rainy. Reply

  • Gina Bisaillon
    January 4, 2018 1:29pm

    What a coincidence, I have a curry of butter beans (aka large lima beans) in the fridge right now. They’re extremely expensive here (Atlantic Canada), and hard to find, but I try to have a supply on hand for when I want that buttery texture. Thanks for the appealing recipe, I will certainly try it. Reply

  • Heidi
    January 4, 2018 2:05pm

    I am in Nice right now wondering why my beans wouldn’t soften up. Thank you for suggesting bottled water. Reply

    • Alex S.
      January 4, 2018 9:57pm

      Yes, that’s true. We also have very hard water in AZ (Arizona) and living in a rental house. Is for soaking or cooking or both? I wasn’t certain. I have been using for both. Also, per Steve from Rancho Gordo, don’t salt until midway of cooking, ignore my friend Kenji. Especially if you’re like me with hard water. As a Christmas present for myself, I bought “RG 20 Big Ones”. Oh my gosh, the hardest problem is deciding which bean and what to make. And to think, previously, we were only white bean people. thanks. Reply

  • Rosemary
    January 4, 2018 5:16pm

    Deep freeze here in Ohio, couldn’t get to the store so I made them with the dried baby lima beans I had on hand. There were no complaints. Reply

  • Joyce
    January 4, 2018 11:36pm

    I can’t wait to try this one. My choice of beans will be the Tarbais (Cassoulet) beans from Rancho Gordo. I think they will be perfect after all, this is just another, different, type of cassoulet. And, best of all, my Holiday Gift this year is a 6 quart Staub La Cocotte … perfect for this recipe. Reply

  • January 4, 2018 11:57pm

    David, this looks wonderful. You have such a great talent. Thank you for sharing -Joe Reply

  • January 5, 2018 4:35am

    I just made this tonight, and it’s fantastic. I love the kale in it, and it’s so hearty and perfect for these cold Colorado nights. I added a pound of pork sausage, and ended up using canned great northern beans since it’s what I had on hand, as well as leftover champagne from New Years in place of the white wine. I’m going to be making this a lot this winter! Reply

    • Mary
      January 5, 2018 5:02pm

      Stuck at home in a blizzard in Cambridge, MA, this recipe appeared and coincidentally I had the Rancho Gordo beans called for. Rancho Gordo says that the beans don’t need soaking so I just soaked them for a couple of hours in filtered water. Then I boiled them in the soaking water on the stovetop for 5 minutes and then I placed them in the oven for a slow simmer for about 3 hours. My bean retailer, Formaggio Kitchen says this is the best way to enjoy these beans. The beans come out perfectly cooked, not split. I made the vegetables separately and used the beautiful bean water as my liquid. I mixed it all, poured it into the baking dish and added the cheese on top. The result looked too wet at first but then while eating, the liquids absorbed. This recipe is a winner. Reply

  • Meredith K.
    January 5, 2018 7:38pm

    I just made a refrigerator cleaning version with kaseri, parmigiano, mushrooms, radicchio, gigantes and sofritto…plus garlic bread made with a hamburger bun…slammin’ Reply

  • Alison
    January 5, 2018 11:00pm

    The only food writers I follow are you and Deb, so if a recipe has both your endorsements, it has to be golden! Reply

    • Bebe
      January 6, 2018 11:10pm

      Russ Parsons wrote for years for the Los Angeles Times. I believe he ended up editor of its Food section at one time.

      I remember sending him my suggestion about mentioning in the ingredients list when something (like a cup of sugar) was the total amount required, but to be divided – part for the main recipe, part for something later. It would say:

      1 c. sugar, divided

      That would alert the cook to read further about how the total amount of sugar was to be used.

      He liked that a lot. The Times used that from then on (this was decades ago) and it is commonly seen in recipes elsewhere.

      One of the best things about Russ Parsons was his unpretentious view of cooking. Open to new ideas from others that made sense. Reply

  • Patricia
    January 5, 2018 11:26pm

    Reading “Appart” which my sis gave me for Christmas.!!! Thank you sis !! David, I love your wit and sense of humour and so enjoying the book. Laugh out loud moments. My sister and I visited Paris in September…. so much fun. Can’t wait to go back in May. Your recipe you posted looks delicieux! Will try next week during the full week of rain predicted in Vancouver !! Happy New Year David and hope to see you in a market in May. !! Reply

  • David Lapointe
    January 6, 2018 5:21am

    I really miss your ‘Best Cookbooks of the year’ review. Reply

    • January 6, 2018 2:30pm
      David Lebovitz

      I miss doing it too. I like featuring & sharing my favorite books of the year. I had a pretty hectic fall/winter and since it takes a few weeks to get those posts written and published (including all the links, uploading book images, etc.) I wasn’t able to get to it this time around. I did a video round-up on Facebook of some of my favorite cookbooks instead. Reply

      • David
        January 10, 2018 10:00pm

        Hi David,

        I did not know about the video on Facebook and I will happily have a look at it.

        Thanks for the reply and I wish you a great year 2018! :) Reply

  • Gerald
    January 6, 2018 12:08pm

    In Britain we call those Butter Beans. Reply

  • Bebe
    January 6, 2018 11:02pm

    You can find Large Dried Lima Beans from an assortment of sources via AmazonReply

  • Maria Purwin
    January 6, 2018 11:03pm

    Deb Perelman’s books and recipes are well-thought, nutritious, and so satisfying. I am a fan. For New Year’s Day, my daughter made her mushroom and farro soup. It is vegetarian, but has so much umami, that even the meat seekers were satisfied. This looks delicious and hearty enough for the cold of winter. Reply

  • Bebe
    January 6, 2018 11:13pm

    One of my dear late Mother’s favorites from growing up near Pittsburgh, PA, was dried large lima beans cooked with the baked ham bone. I’d have liked that better now than I did as a child! Reply

  • Urs
    January 7, 2018 12:33am

    I’m really glad to read your notes on adding seasonings. I’m usually wary of Deb’s recipes because they’re too bland for me (the kiddos note does make total sense!) but with sage, oregano, and basil this sounds delightful! I might skip the cheese entirely and cover the top with chopped garlic bread instead. Or turn it into a proper hotdish and top it with latkes! Reply

  • JoanB
    January 7, 2018 1:24am

    For some reason Pizza Beans just didn’t call to me but Giant Bean Gratin- a different story. It is a beautiful recipe. I used some enormous beans I bought in a Middle Eastern Market, anonymously packaged in a cellophane bag with just a price tag. I soaked them in salted water, drained and rinsed them and then cooked them in fresh salted water. They were so good all by themselves that I’m kicking myself for not having them in my life till now. So I followed your suggestion to doll them up and decided after all to embrace the pizza concept by adding dried oregano and salami. It worked very well. It’ll be fun to try some other additions. Fresh sage sounds good, but I live in Boston and that would require a major expedition to the sage plant and an ice ax to excavate it from a foot and a half of ice and snow. Reply

    • Bebe
      January 7, 2018 2:02am

      I haven’t heard anyone say “doll them up” for ages! My late Mother’s expression. We’d get “dolled up” to go out shopping… Reply

    • Pia
      January 10, 2018 2:49pm

      I was thinking the same thing — I didn’t have the urge to make “pizza beans” when I saw them on Smitten Kitchen, but this gratin looks dinner-worthy! Funny how much difference a name can make. I’m going to try them out on my kids — I have a feeling the little one will cry when he sees beans and greens, but I like the idea of garlic bread on the side. Everybody like garlic bread. Reply

  • Penny
    January 7, 2018 2:08am

    My local store only had blanched skinless Fava beans. Yes or No? Thank you. Reply

  • KML
    January 7, 2018 3:06pm

    I’m taking my kids on a 4-day long ski trip, and cooking all our dinners ahead so I just just reheat our meals. I think this will be just the thing! Reply

  • January 8, 2018 2:04pm

    Fabulous recipe I can’t wait to try. I loved your book l’apart and as a “foodie” who doesn’t love to cook (but so appreciate those who do), I am now inspired (trust me it takes a lot) by you to try a little more in the kitchen. Eagerly read your blog for more great stories. Thank you! Reply

  • zeldie stuart
    January 8, 2018 10:15pm

    so happy to fall into your website/blog. Was looking for poached prunes and you popped up. Been reading your recipes happily. What really did it was that you knew about Rancho Gordo! How doesn’t everyone know about them. Anyway..here I am soaking (I agree! soaking is better) Good Mother Stallard Beans and your Bean Gratin pops up. I know it will be yum even though the beans aren’t Gigante. And I agree re: salting beans; I salt them right after I bring them to a boil. I also prefer cooking them in a Le Creuset in the oven at 325. Perfect beans every time. Reply

    • Linda
      January 13, 2018 1:39pm

      Have you ever poached prunes in Earl Grey tea? It’s pretty good…also poached apricots in he same.

      This from a chef in Aberdeen, Scotland: Nick Nairn…a brilliant guy! Reply

      • January 13, 2018 2:07pm
        David Lebovitz

        I often poach prunes in black currant tea. Earl Grey is lovely too, but I especially like the black currant flavor with prunes. Reply

  • Linda
    January 9, 2018 3:17am

    This was so good, def putting in our rotation. I did amp up the spices quite a bit garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper. Also mixed kale and Swiss chard. And yes I salted my beans although if you do your beans in an Instant Pot, I would only do 5 mins maybe 4. 6 was too done. Definitely a keeper!! Thanks!! Reply

  • Erika
    January 11, 2018 4:58pm

    I made the following changes: Per David’s comments, I added spicy pork sausage, a hefty dash of chili flakes for heat, and a bunch of chopped fresh herbs (thyme, basil, oregano and a bit of sage). While I used the giant white beans (oh how I love them!), I also had some other beans that I wanted to use, so I added them as well. It turned out AMAZING and everyone at the table loved it. This is definitely going on regular rotation. Reply

    • January 11, 2018 10:00pm
      David Lebovitz

      Happy you liked it. Yes, I think spicy pork or another sausage is a great addition. Happy everyone in your home liked it : ) Reply

  • Maggie
    January 16, 2018 5:53pm

    David, I’m curious to know what size/capacity your baking dish was?
    This is a winning winter recipe ! I used canned large butter beans, and it was great, but will make it next time with some dried Greek gigante beans. Reply

    • January 16, 2018 7:42pm
      David Lebovitz

      I used the one rec’d in step 1 of the recipe: “2 1/2 to 3 quart (2-3l) stovetop-friendly gratin dish.” Mine was closer to the 2 1/2qt range, although I would use one closer to the larger size if I had one. Reply

  • Margaret Z.
    January 17, 2018 2:05am

    Texas is closed today locked in ice and that bean pizza looks marvelous!

    I always do beans in the crock pot and I find that the bean to water ratio is most important. When I cook pinto beans it is three cups of water to one cup of dried beans. Reply

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