I readily admit I love the convenience of canned beans. But I had a bad experience with my favorite brand that shall remain unnamed: they sold big cans of beans cooked to perfection, but then something happened and the cans had way more liquid than actual beans. After recurring issues and some very feeble customer service response, I decided to cook my own. I’m grateful because they are even better. And it doesn’t even take that long. Not to mention, it’s cheaper. In your face, nameless brand.
Uncanny Chickpeas [Vegan]
- 1 pound (454 g) dried chickpeas, soaked in filtered water overnight
- 7 cups (1.7 L) filtered water, plus more as needed
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
- Diamond kosher salt, to taste
- 4 slices dried lemon,
- 4 slices preserved lemon, or 1/2 organic lemon
- 1 fermented black garlic clove, or 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- Regarding soaking: Pick through the chickpeas. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas and enough filtered water to cover. Let soak overnight. It can get really hot where I live, so I prefer refrigerating the soaking beans. If it’s tolerable where you live, soaking them at room temperature is fine.
- When ready, drain the beans and give them a quick rinse. Place the beans in a large pot and add the water, oil, a good 2 teaspoons (8 g) of salt, the lemon, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a boil over high heat, lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the chickpeas are tender but firm, about 90 minutes. If the liquid evaporates too much, add more water as needed.
- Drain the cooked chickpeas, but do not discard the broth. Strain it and refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week to use in soups or to cook grains. Refrigerate the cooked beans in an airtight container for up to 1 week. You can also refrigerate the chickpeas in the cooking broth.
This recipe comes from the concept of cooking vegetable broth (see A Guide to Veggie Broth, page 142). You can add aromatics, if you wish: chunks of celery root, carrot, mushroom powder, onions, or shallots. Whatever’s in dire need of being used quickly will do the trick. Also, it may seem unwise to add salt considering it is said to prevent proper cooking of beans, but it turns out we were myth-taken all along. The reason beans are sometimes reluctant to get tender is their age, the water they are cooked in, or even the acidity of the ingredients that might be joining them during cooking.