Cannellini Beans[ PURCHASE INFO ]
Cannellini Beans: Cannellini beans are large white beans, about 1/2" long, with a firm texture and skin and a nut-like flavor. Very popular in Italy, and especially Tuscany, cannellini beans are the reason Tuscans are referred to as "bean eaters", or "mangiafagioli" in Italian. Cannellini beans are mild in flavor and hold their shape well. A variety of the "common bean", cannellini are related to kidney beans, great northern, navy, and green beans, among others. As such they share the common bean's many health benefits: low in fat, high in protein, high in fiber, minerals, B vitamins...
Cannellini beans, like other kidney beans, require special preparation to remove compounds that can cause gastric distress. The beans only need to be boiled for 10 minutes to remove the toxins, but boiling is the key. Even though recommended cooking time is much longer than 10 minutes be sure to boil the beans for at least that long. Slow cookers, for instance, aren't hot enough to produce the temperature needed to remove the compounds. Soak your cannellini beans overnight, then boil them for 10 minutes before reducing the heat and simmering them for 1-2 hours or until tender. Adding salt to the cooking water can toughen some beans, with their already firm texture and skin you might want to go easy on the salt, or leave it out entirely.
Cannellini beans are very popular in many types of Italian cuisine. A staple of minestrones, fagioli's, and salads, dried cannelleni beans make a gourmet addition to any pantry. (Cannellini beans are more easily harvested when dry, so fresh cannellini are rare.) Their low cost, long shelf life, and gastronomic versatility make dried cannelleni beans indispensable in any gourmet kitchen. These gourmet beans double in size when soaked, so a few beans go a long way in a dish. Join an elite group of culinary experts, grab some cannellini and call yourself a "bean eater" today!
Where to buy: Cannellini Beans