Put beans, water, sage, bay leaf, and whole head of garlic in Dutch oven. Cover and slowly bring to a simmer over low heat; this can take 2 3/4 hours in bean pot or 1 hour in saucepan.
Simmer beans until tender and soft but not mushy, about 45 minutes in bean pot or 35 to 40 minutes in saucepan. Remove from heat and cool beans, covered, 15 minutes. Stir in sea salt.
Drain almost all cooking liquid from beans (reserve for making soup if desired) and season beans with sea salt and pepper to taste.
Dress beans with oil at the table.
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