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White Beans with Sage

1 lb dry small white, or Great Northern beans
2 1/2 quarts water
1 large garlic clove, peeled
1 handful fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
coarse salt and pepper, to taste
fruity olive oil

Put beans, sage, water, garlic, and salt in a heavy cooking pot.
Cover and place over very low heat, so that it takes almost an hour
to bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, regulate the heat so
that the liquid barely simmers. The beans must not move around
during cooking as it will cause them to break up. The length of
time it takes the beans to cook depends upon their age, but count
on at least three hours (easy for me since I work at home). The
beans should retain their shape and be tender to the bite. Season
to taste. Have fruity olive oil on the side to drizzle on top.
Serves six to eight.

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
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Good beans plain or fancy, September 20, 2005 - 05:55 PM
Reviewer: Anonymous from Menlo Park, California USA
After scanning several online recipes for white beans with sage (at several sights), I selected the Recipe Cottage offering. It had a minimum of ingredients and apparently simple cooking instructions. At the initial cooking I omitted the salt which was to be put in the pot to begin cooking. It may or not be true that salt added to dry beans when first being cooked will prevent them from becoming tender. Wasn't going to take that chance. Keeping the burner temperature low, as directed, was a major problem. My attempt to bring the beans to a boil slowly took 40 minutes rather than the suggested "almost an hour". In cooking the beans after their coming to a boil I kept the pot lid ajar. The recipe didn't say if the pot could be totally uncovered. Frequent monitoring was essential. Non-the-less, the beans were tender in about 1 hour and 45 minutes and did not break up. The fruity olive oil to the served beans elevated them to a most delicious state. For beans with a bit of meat, some diced, cooked pancetta or other pork product is quite nice. Warm asiago bread is excellent with the bean dish.

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