White Beans with Rosemary and Olive Oil

  • Active Time 5m
  • Total Time 2h 35m

Yields about 8 cups

This recipe works well with any large, meaty bean. Serve the dish warm or at room temperature. It could accompany grilled tuna and tomatoes in summer or lamb chops with radicchio in the winter months.


  • 1 pound large dried white (navy) beans, such as cannellini beans or Giant Aztec
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated but not peeled
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes; more or less to taste
  • Chopped fresh rosemary for garnish


Pick over the beans. Soak if desired and drain. In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, cover the beans with 8 cups cold water. Add the onion, garlic and herb sprigs and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a bare simmer, skimming any foam that rises to the surface. When the beans are almost tender, after about 1 hour, add the olive oil, salt, ground fennel and pepper flakes. Continue cooking until the beans are very tender but still whole, about 30 minutes longer. Taste the beans and broth; add more salt if necessary. Allow the beans to cool in the broth for at least 1 hour before serving.

TO SERVE: Warm the beans in the broth, and then transfer the beans to a platter with a slotted spoon, discarding the onion, garlic and herb sprigs. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil, a few grindings of black pepper as desired, and the chopped rosemary.

Recipe reprinted by permission of <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.

RecID 2500

nutrition information per serving

235 calories; 4g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 592mg sodium; 37g carbohydrates; 9g fiber; 14g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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