Fresh sorrel, a hardy, leafy green perennial, gives simple white beans a zap of color and a lemony tang. Farmers' markets often carry it from spring into early fall, depending on where you live. If you can't find it, swap in basil. This recipe comes from Erin Scott, creator of the blog (and cookbook) Yummy Supper.
1 pound dried white beans, such as cannellini or navy
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon kosher salt
4 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh sorrel or basil leaves (from a 6-oz. bunch)
2/3 cup pine nuts or Marcona almonds
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (use the smallest punched-out holes on a box grater)
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pepper and flaky sea salt to taste
How to Make It
Rinse beans under cool tap water. Put in a pot, cover with 3 in. cold water, and let soak overnight. Or, bring them just to a boil, then immediately remove from heat and let sit 1 hour, covered.
If soaking liquid is cloudy, drain and replace, covering beans with at least 2 in. water; if clear, add enough to cover by 2 in. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Skim any foam from surface. Add sliced garlic and bay leaf and simmer, partly covered, until tender, 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how long beans have been sitting on the shelf. Stir in salt.
While beans are cooking, put pesto ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a coarse purée.
Ladle out 1 cup cooking liquid and set aside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer warm beans to a serving bowl and stir in 1 1/2 cups pesto, along with some reserved cooking liquid to loosen them up. Serve hot, with remaining pesto on the side.
Make ahead: Beans and pesto separately, up to 2 days, chilled (store beans in cooking liquid, and press plastic wrap against surface of pesto).
I have one sorrel plant, but it is prolific...i have trouble finding recipes to use its tangy leaves. this recipe is a keeper - easy to make, attractive, tasty, keeps well. i will try canned cannellinis next time.
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