Stovetop-Cooked Basic Beans
- Yield: Makes 7 cups
- 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) appaloosa or any other type of dried bean
- 2 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 rib celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Pick over the beans to remove any stones or bad or broken beans. Rinse thoroughly.
Place the beans in a stockpot and cover with plenty of cold water. Soak overnight at room temperature or in the refrigerator if your kitchen is warm.
Drain and rinse beans, and return them to the pot along with enough cold water to cover.
Wrap the herbs and garlic in a 6-inch square of cheesecloth and tie to enclose. Add to the pot along with carrot, celery, and onion. Season with 2 teaspoons salt and bring barely to a simmer, and cook until the beans are tender. After 30 minutes of cooking, add remaining teaspoon salt. Depending on their freshness and the variety of bean, this can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Keep checking them for doneness.
Remove and discard the cheesecloth bundle and vegetables and drain beans. Serve beans warm, drizzled with olive oil.
Save the bean liquid for storing any leftover beans for up to 4 days, or use it in risottos and soups.