Living in a country where groceries are really quite expensive, and temporarily living with a friend who now works for the Ministry of Environmental Protection, I have been thinking about some small ways to cut both food costs and waste.
So last week, when our pot of fresh rosemary was getting quite sad-looking, we did something neat instead of throwing it out – namely drying the rest of the still-green rosemary leaves in the microwave. Super easy! Instructions from The Kitchn. I will definitely start doing this when fresh herbs in my fridge or on my counter start to look sad, as it only takes a few minutes. The only dreary part is drying the rinsed leaves before zapping them in the microwave.
So what to do with this dried rosemary? I’ve also been thinking that I should cook my own beans, rather than using canned ones. It’s a pretty obvious thing to do – but I keep forgetting to pre-soak etc.. Yesterday I did remember, and I bought some organic dried white beans which I left to soak overnight. I took my cue from Affairs of Living and largely followed her recipe, but more or less halved it.
- approx. 1 cup dried white beans, soaked overnight
- one onion
- lots of garlic
- dried rosemary
- some dried “Fines Herbes” brought from France
- 1/2 lemon, sliced thinly
The beans were left to soak overnight, approx 14 hours, which is less than she recommended, but quite standard for beans. This morning, I whizzed the onion and garlic in my food processor (why chop if you don’t have to?) and mixed in with the beans and some olive oil in my Dutch oven. I blended in some of the dried rosemary, and also added some dried herbs I had brought with me from France (Fines Herbes from Monoprix; parsley, chives, tarragon and chervil). I mixed in salt and pepper, and covered with thin lemon slices. Finally I added water until it almost reached the top of the beans.
The Dutch oven went into the oven at 350F/180C with the lid on. I checked it after an hour, and I realized why the recipe said to use tin foil with holes to let steam escape, because the beans were very wet at this point. I left the lid ajar on the Dutch oven and put it back for about another hour. At this point they were cooked through, but not mushy. Really tasty beans!