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Simple White Beans with Sage
Firm yet creamy cooked white beans are a blank canvas. With a mild, subtly sweet flavor they can be made into salads or sides, are excellent additions to soups and stews, add substance to pasta dishes or can be pureed into silky-smooth dips. Cannellini, one of the larger and more common white bean varieties, is our favorite and the type we call for in this recipe, but small white beans such as navy and great northern work, too. Smaller beans require the same soaking, but if pressure-cooking, set the cooking time for 12 minutes, or if slow-cooking, set the cooking time for 6 to 6½ hours. For a few easy ways to use the cooked beans, see the following recipes.
pound (2½ cups) dried cannellini beans (see note), rinsed and drained
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
01In a 6-quart Instant Pot, stir together the beans, 2 teaspoons salt, the baking soda and 6 cups water, then distribute in an even layer. Lock the lid in place and move the pressure valve to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual; make sure the pressure level is set to High. Set the cooking time for 5 minutes. When pressure cooking is complete, quick-release the steam by moving the pressure valve to Venting. Press Cancel, then carefully open the pot. Using potholders, carefully remove the insert from the housing and drain the beans in a colander; return the insert to the housing. Rinse the beans under cool water, set aside. Select More/High Sauté on the Instant Pot. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the onion, garlic, bay, sage and 1 teaspoon salt, then cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Return the beans to the pot and add 6 cups water; stir, then distribute in an even layer.
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