1 lb of dried beans (i used lima)
3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, peeled + halved, the halved again
10 cloves of garlic, peeled
3 stalks of celery, roughy chopped
8 cups of water (approximately)
1 head of escarole, roughly chopped
1 leek, cut into 1 inch rounds
sherry vinegar aioli
black pepper on the big grind
begin by placing the dried beans, onion, garlic, celery and all the water into a heavy bottomed pan (i like a dutch oven) and turn the heat to high.
season with salt and pepper to taste and let the beans and veggies come to a simmer.
once everything is simmering, turn the heat down to low and pop the lid on. keep the beans simmering on low for 2-3hrs.
check hourly on the done-ness of both the beans and also the height of the broth. if the beans needs more water, add a little more. the beans and veggies should always be submerged. feel it out, and go with your instinct.
at about hour 3 you can add in your roughly chopped escarole and leeks, and let them wilt into the broth for 10-15 mins.
the beans are done when they hold their shape, but are very creamy on the inside. test a bean by biting into one.
check again for seasoning, and add more salt if needed. these particular beans can take quite a bit of salt. always salt as you go and in small amounts. we do not want over salted beans!
serve in your favorite bowl with a big dollops of sherry vinegar aioli (recipe coming soon), loads of black pepper and a dash of sherry vinegar if you like. i love a vinegary bean situation.