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Snow Cap Beans with Lemon and Sage

Named for snow-crested mountains, snow cap beans are prized for their beautiful markings, which retain their rich colors even after cooking. The beans have a hearty flavor and silky-smooth texture similar to potatoes.

Be sure to soak the beans before cooking. To soak overnight, place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. The next day, drain the beans and cook as directed below. For a quick soak, place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from the heat, cover the pot and let stand for 1 hour, then drain the beans and cook. To decrease the cooking time by about half, cook the soaked beans in a pressure cooker on high pressure.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups dried snow cap beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked and drained
  • 2 fresh sage sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic head, top cut off
  • 1 Tbs. coarse sea salt, plus more, to taste
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. finely slivered fresh sage
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, preferably Tuscan, for serving

Directions:

Place the beans in a large pot and add water to cover by 2 inches. Add the sage sprigs, bay leaf and garlic. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Stir in the 1 Tbs. salt. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and let the beans cool for 15 minutes. Remove and discard the sage sprigs, bay leaf and garlic.

Drain almost all of the cooking liquid off the beans (reserve the liquid for making soup, if desired). Transfer the beans to a serving bowl, add the parsley, slivered sage and lemon zest and stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Drizzle the beans with olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.