Tales of the Testers: Pressured and Bean Happy
I’m a huge fan of my pressure cooker, and I just found another great way to use it: Hands down, without a doubt, the pressure cooker produces the creamiest cannellini beans, the tenderest chickpeas, the most delicious black beans I've ever made.
Let the beans soak overnight in the fridge, then cook them for a mere 6 to 12 minutes under high pressure (your cooker should come with a time guide). Give them a nice rest while the pressure releases. You’ll be a believer too, I promise.
Why bother, you ask? Aren’t canned beans convenient? That’s what I thought until I noticed how high in sodium they were. I tried cooking the beans on the stove, and they were fine. But I was looking for fabulous. Then I got the idea from a Whole Foods Market pamphlet my dad sent me. It was a guide to cooking beans and grains. It listed the times for pressure cooking and didn't even offer a stovetop/saucepan option.
Now I’m hooked. I’m looking for reasons to throw beans into salads, soups and side dishes. Don’t try it with the old-fashioned pressure, cookers though; new versions take most of the stress out of this kind of cooking. I have a Kuhn Rikon Duromatic 7L, but I think the 3.5-quart model would be perfect for bean applications.
Do you already have a pressure cooker? If so, use it to try my Shrimp, White Bean and Radish Salad or my Cumin-Scented Chickpeas With Spinach and Basmati Rice.
-- Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
The Food Section
June 9, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories: Tales of the Testers | Tags: Stephanie Witt Sedgwick
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