Cranberry beans with olive oil & garlic

Cranberry beans with olive oil & garlic

Here's a hearty, delicious, and affordable bean recipe that IMHO is fine as a main course.  I especially enjoyed these beans smashed into crusty toasted French bread.
  • 2 lb fresh cranberry beans ( about 4 cups shelled) OR 1 lb Dried Cranberry Beans
  • 6 garlic cloves, whole
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp red hot pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2-4 cups water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 piece of Guanciale or a slice of bacon of ham, if you eat meat.
  • ½ tsp salt ( more or less to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS If you're using fresh beans, shell them, rinse and drain.  If you're using our Dried Cranberry Beans,  you will need to soak them overnight in 2.5 times their volume in water and a couple of teaspoons of baking soda. , or do as I did and put them in your instant pot with 2.5x the volume of water for 45 min.  The next day, rinse the cranberry beans really well and follow the cooking instructions.   

Cooking Instructions

  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  I used our Cornicabra EVOO because it's so delicious and aromatic.
  • Add the garlic and tilt the pan so all the oil goes to one side of the pan and the garlic cooks evenly.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes or until it starts to get a slight golden color (make sure it doesn't burn!)
  • Add the hot pepper flakes and thyme and cook for another 2 minutes.  We have several varieties here to suit you.
  • Add the Guanciale or a slice of bacon of ham, if you eat meat. It's tasty either way,
  • Add the shelled beans, stirring well so the beans get evenly coated with the oil and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add 2 cups of water, bay leaves and salt.
  • Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes, uncovered, then turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until the beans are tender but not mushy.

You should have some cooking liquid remaining in the pot. If the beans are not tender and there is little water left, keep adding water until thy soften. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed (take into consideration that, as the beans, cook the flavor and saltiness concentrates. Be careful to not over salt - remember that as the broth evaporates, the flavors concentrate!).  Mash the garlic into the cooking liquid ( It should be very tender and mash easily. These are delicious eaten plain, served over rice or with crusty bread 

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