I returned from the island with half a package of dried cannellini beans, so I decided to cook them on Saturday. It was a sizeable amount, perhaps 300 gm, so I decided to do an experiment. Most of the time I’ve been using a clay Spanish bean pot for cooking dried beans, on the theory that the Basque region favors these vessels for superior taste and texture. Since I also have a Staub enameled cast iron cocotte I like very much, I chose to split the beans in half and do a side-by-side comparison with the two pots.
Naturally, I got distracted yesterday, so instead of cooking the beans for about 2 hours, they were actually going for over 3 hours when I remembered about them. No problem, they were fine. A taste test surprised me. The clay pot beans were slightly firmer, and the texture not as smooth as the cast iron batch, and they did not cook as quickly. So now I have two methods, and will prefer the Staub, I think.
Turn the page to Sunday (today). I had a LOT of cooked beans. I wondered if they would make a good risotto, and I was immediately rewarded with a recipe from Judith Barrett’s Risotto book. So I decided to do Risotto con Fagioli for a full-fledged lunch, accompanied by some leftover Greek baked vegetables and steamed beets as a side dish, all accompanied by a 2013 i Clivi Friulano.