Tuscan White Beans with Garlic & Sage

White Beans

White Beans

By Cat, August 2008 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

Includes: 1. Tuscan White Beans with Garlic & Sage

See also: 1. Basic Cooked Beans, Peas2. Beans & Other Legumes: Soaking & Sprouting3Vegetarian & Bean Menu; Other sites: 4. Emily Skinner Bean Recipes (2); 5. The Vegan Gourmet on dried beans & peas (great reference! (3))

This is an amazingly fragrant and tasty dish, from Tuscany in Italy. Serve it as antipasto (warm), or cold in salads. Add to pasta with olive oil and fresh herbs. Or serve as a vegetarian main course or side dish. Leftovers can be used to make soup.

Tuscan White Beans and Garlic & Sage

This recipe is adapted from the New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas (1). I grow lots of fresh sage in my kitchen garden, just for this dish (and a few other….).

Ingredients & Equipment:

Soak/Sprout Beans

  • ½ lb (about 1 cup) small white beans (Navy or Cannellini beans)
  • warm filtered water
  • lemon juice (1 Tbsp per quart of water)


  • small handfull fresh sage leaves
  • about 2 cups Chicken Stock or BrothVegetable Broth, or water
  • 10 or more cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 Tbsp fruity green olive oil
  • Unrefined sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • large bowl for soaking beans (or jar for sprouting)
  • 3 quart saucier
  • wide, shallow serving bowl (like a pasta bowl)


  1. Soak/Sprout Beans: Cover beans with warm water.  Stir in whey or lemon juice and leave in a warm place overnight (24 hours).  The longer they soak, the shorter the cooking time.  Check after a few hours and add more water as necessary. Or sprout the beans over 2 – 3 days rinsing and draining each day. (See Soaking & Sprouting Beans for more detail).
  2. Cook Beans (See Basic Cooked Beans, Peas for more detail). Drain beans, rinse and put in saucier along fresh water (or chicken stock) to cover by 2 inchesBoil for 10 minutes (very important, to ensure soft beans) and skim.
  3. Add sage leaves, peeled garlic cloves, and ½ Tbsp. olive oil. Simmer gently until tender, 1 – 3 hours.  Do not stir more than 2 or 3 times, and then gently, with a wooden spoon.  Carefully add more water as necessary to keep beans covered.
  4. Just when they are beginning to be tender, add about 1 tsp salt.  When they are soft and the cooking water has become a savory broth, pour beans and broth into a wide shallow bowl (such as a pasta bowl); drizzle with 1 – 1 ½ Tbsp fruity olive oil.  Grind on some black pepper, and serve.

Assembly or Serving ideas

  • Spoon beans and broth into generous bowls.  Serve with crusty bread, or add toasted croutons made from stale focaccia.
  • If you have leftovers, puree beans with some light veggie or chicken broth, for an excellent soup.


  1. New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas (1)

About Cat

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