Monday, 7 January 2008

Navy Beans Baked with Herbs and Tomatoes

On Saturday night as I was lying in bed I realized I needed to bring something for a lunch time pot-luck the next morning. Fortunately, I still had a bunch of cooked but unfinished beans in the fridge. On Sunday morning I flung them into a casserole with a few other things, and took them to Meeting to bake in the oven there until wanted. I did not bring my camera and photograph them as I was not considering them a serious recipe. Of course, 2 people promptly said they wanted the recipe, so now I must try to reconstruct what I did, and there is no photo. (If someone makes these, and wants to send me a pic, it would be appreciated!) I have to say, they were pretty good for something completely off the cuff! Updated: I made them again, so now there is a photo.

Makes 8 servings
2 days - 20 minutes prep time, divided

Navy Beans Baked with Herbs and Tomatoes2 cups (450 grams, 1 pound) dried pea beans (navy beans)

1 large onion
1 796-ml (28 ounce) tin of diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon rubbed sage
1 teaspoon rubbed savory
1 teaspoon celery seed, finely ground
2 or 3 tablespoons dried chives
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 or 3 bay leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Rinse and pick over the dried beans. Put them in a pot with water to cover generously. Bring them to a boil, then turn off the heat and let the beans soak overnight. The next morning, drain off the water and cover them with fresh water. Bring to a boil then reduce them to a simmer, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour or perhaps a little longer.

When you are ready to bake the beans, put them in a fairly deep casserole. They should have some cooking liquid with them, but they should not be swimming in it. If there is too much, drain it off until it is about an inch or so below the level of the beans. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Peel and chop the onion, and mix it into the beans with the tomatoes and their juice. Mix in the seasonings. Drizzle the oil over the beans.

Bake the beans uncovered for 2 hours, more or less, until the sauce is thickened. You may wish to stir them once or twice.

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