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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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« April SOS Kitchen Challenge Asparagus Recipe Round-Up | Main | Rutabaga raab and other fresh food finds in Washington »
Sunday
Apr242011

Baked White Beans with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

IMG_1438

I've always been a baked bean lover. Instead of making sweet and smoky Boston-style baked beans, lately I've been making baked beans inspired by the flavors of the Mediterranean. A few days ago I made this tasty version of baked white beans, chock full of garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil and fresh lemon. I baked the beans in a beautiful red Le Creuset enameled cast iron dutch oven, and the finished dish looked gorgeous and tasted just as good. The flavor is really fresh, fragrant herbs with the bite of black pepper and brightness of lemon.  The beans on the top were tender and but still intact (the way I like 'em), and the beans on the bottom and edges had a golden, crisp crust.  Hot olive oil and a good hot cast iron pan create pure magic!  Serve as an affordable and satisfying main course or a side dish, along with sauteed greens or salad and other seasonal vegetables. 

IMG_1422IMG_1427IMG_1428Golden and warm, ready to eat!

Baked White Beans with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs

serves 6-8

  • 1 pound dried cannelini beans (or other white bean like great northern or navy)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil + more for drizzling
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (about 1/3 cup)
  • 10 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh marjoram leaves, chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • broth or water
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary
  • 1 small lemon, thinly sliced in rounds
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • dried chili flakes or aleppo pepper flakes

Soak the beans for 24-36 hours in a large bowl or pot filled with water. You want the beans covered by about 6 inches of water. Drain, rinse, and refill every 12 hours while soaking (save the used soaking water and use for plants, it is full of plant-healthy nitrogen!). Once they are fully soaked, drain and rinse well, and set aside.

Heat oven to 350º F and lightly oil a large dutch oven or dish. Place rinsed & soaked beans in dish with onions and garlic, and pour on 4 Tbsp olive oil. Stir to coat, then add sage, thyme, and marjoram, and stir to mix. Add enough water or broth to be just below the top surface of the beans. Nestle the rosemary on the beans, then cover the surface with lemon slices and sprinkle with pepper and chili flakes/aleppo pepper flakes.

Cover dish with foil and puncture a few times to let steam escape. Bake for about 2 hours. Baking time will depend on how long you soak your beans, how old your beans are, and the general humidity level in your house - your beans may take more or less time. Be sure to check on them after 1 1/2 hours - if all the liquid has cooked off and they seem dry, add a little more liquid and continue to bake.  If there is still liquid, just put back in the oven and keep baking until they are tender to your liking.

Remove from oven, drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with unrefined salt. Serve.  

Make it a meal by serving with sauteed greens or a leafy green salad, cooked baby beets with fresh thyme (or other seasonal veg), and crusty homemade bread.

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Reader Comments (10)

This looks so good! I'm inspired to try using preserved lemons in there. Yum!

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChandelle

Gorgeous dish with all those beautiful herbs in it! I can't wait to try this :-) Hope you've had a lovely weekend!

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaria @ ScandiFoodie

Yum! This inspired me to use the white beans I had in the freezer to make a steak, chard, and white bean soup with my turkey bone broth I had going in the crockpot.

April 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

Now all you need is a little duck confit :) I'll be making this soon!

April 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterApril

The picture makes me want to go out into the pantry and start rummaging! This looks really good and will be something I'll be making real soon. Thanks for sharing!

May 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDenise

I am always looking for great bean recipes and this looks great! I think I'll wait it out until I have fresh herbs to use from my garden, but I am tickled pink to try this! :)

May 5, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjanet

This looks delicious! I am loving beans lately, but mainly indian flavored. I really need to branch out and do something different. This may be the recipe to do it.

May 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy

Hey Kim, Do you eat the lemons or are they removed?

September 17, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjanet @ the taste space

I ended up making the beans and they were delicious! I love how creamy yet light the beans were... and yes, you can eat the lemon, too, if you want (or not!).

This was my post: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/baked-white-beans-with-roasted-garlic-lemon-and-herbs/

September 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjanet @ the taste space

Good looking food and the herbs are very good for you as well as cooking with them.

October 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHerbwoman
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo