When it comes to canned beans, Jewish cooking expert Joan Nathan is clear: “I hate them generally.” But the author of “King Solomon’s Table” does appreciate convenience, so she found a way to give dried beans the same at-the-ready ease as their canned counterparts.
“The minute I come home from the store, instead of putting the beans on the shelf, I soak them in cold water overnight.” In the morning, she drains and divides them into zip-close bags (2 cups per bag) and freezes them; no need to pat the drained beans dry before freezing. She uses them straight from the freezer, cooking them in soups, stews or boiling water, for hummus or falafel.
We wondered if freezing would affect how the soaked beans cook, so we tried a few batches. There were no textural differences between frozen beans and freshly soaked beans, but we did find that the frozen beans cooked slightly faster than expected.