Parmesan Braised Beans With Olives Recipe (2024)



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I've always been lukewarm on beans -- if they accompanied something, I'd eat them. Then I read about Rancho Gordo, and their beans. I don't know why they're so much better than plain old grocery store beans, but they are. I had been ordering them directly from their website but then I found them in a little local grocery store near me. Either way, worth seeking out.

Cheap in Minnesota

All of the fresh herbs can get rather pricey, defeating the appeal of the inexpensive beans. Questions:1. Could one substitute dried thyme, rosemary and sage during cooking and then top with something like crispy, frizzled shallots? Yes, I know, not the same recipe but definitely more affordable…2. And please answer the Parmesan rind questions for those of us who don’t happen to have any sitting around in the fridge…


Try braising your soaked beans in the oven versus stovetop simmering. Comes out perfect, and doesn’t need monitoring. Simply rinse/drain 1lb soaked beans, place in a Dutch oven with your fave aromatics (yes, even garlic), nice dash of salt, and a good glug of olive oil. Cover with fresh water to 1/2 inch or so above beans. Bring to a simmer on stove top, then bake covered in a pre-heated 335° oven for 75 minutes. Seriously good method.

Cash money

Parmesan rinds are the tough outer edge of high quality Parmesan like Parmesan Reggiano. Parmesan wedges in some refrigerated cases do not have this rind. In some stores that have a high quality cheese section (eg, Whole Foods) you can buy just the rinds. A reasonable substitute would be a chunk of Parmesan without any rind.


If you haven’t read the accompanying article, you should! Eric Kim’s writing is as delicious as his recipes!“First, do not fear fried herbs, whose woodsy crunch completes the dish; skipping them is like watching “The Devil Wears Prada” without Emily Blunt. They break the tension. “ EK NYT


My local grocery store sells parmesan rinds in their cheese section for a really reasonable price-under $3 for a container of 8 rinds. They freeze well and add a nice dimension to soups, sauces and, apparently, beans! I generally consider a piece that’s 2-3 inches long to be one rind.


Unlike most of the other commentators, I have cooked this dish. Soaked for about 4 hours, cooked for another 4. Used black, navy and pinto beans. Getting the temp right for frying the herbs was a little tricky, and 90 seconds way too long. The beans were delicious. I served this with a salad and toasted ciabatta with roasted garlic, like a big crouton. However, if this is your main, I don't think it makes 6-8 servings. I weighed the beans, and this just fed four of us with no leftovers.


I love beans! No Ned to soak them in the fridge though. At room temp it’s easier for them to partly germinate and begin breaking down starch into sugar.


You can buy parmesan rinds at the grocery store, usually in the deli cheese section with all the other forms of parmesan (shaved, grated, etc.). If you tend to use parmesan, you can also just save the rind. I like to always have a bag of them in my freezer. They're a magical addition to soups and stews.

Heidi C

Re: the question about Parmesan rinds, if your grocery store has a cheese counter, sometimes they sell the rinds separately after grating the cheese—ask them. I usually buy hunks of Parmesan to grate as needed, and when only the rind is left, I throw it in a freezer baggie with the other rinds to use for things like this. You can use them right out of the freezer! I throw a rind into pasta sauce, soups, etc. while they're simmering to add depth and umami. Definitely keep your rinds!


GF-Susan, I agree with you about Eric Kim's writing. In this article and all others. In addition to becoming one of my favorite recipe developers he also has become one of my favorite food writers. I particularly enjoyed this from his article, ""...the beans at Ci Siamo, at once quotidian in ingredients and deluxe in flavor..."


Don’t sweat it on the rinds Yes you would need to buy a “ block “ of Parmesan - probably about 1/2 pound And then take and cut the hard end of - I am guessing the reason she left the sizing vague because it is a bit “ depends “ and not too critical I would guess a piece or pieces about 2 to 4 inches square They are super hard and they gently melt with a dish I have used it in Italian red sauce


To Kathryn re: parm rinds. It’s the side of the chunk of Parmesan cheese that was around the outside of the large wheel of cheese. When you buy a piece you’ll usually notice that the rind is drier and has some of the lettering on it. Some people throw away this part cuz it can’t be grated. It’s great in soups & stocks. Hope this helps


I almost bought a container of Parmesan Rinds at Whole Foods yesterday! what I do have is a forgotten chunk of Romano left over from holiday cooking, quite dry. Could work…

Katherine West

Parmesan rinds? I don’t have any parmesan in my fridge… and i didn’t see a substitution. So i go to the store and buy what side parmesan to get the rinds? I am so up in the air wih this ingredient and the recipe doesn’t provide ANY assistance. Very disappointing.


Best pot of beans ever! Made as written with three small variations: 1) I used only one type of bean (a huge white bean that is popular in the part of Germany where I live); 2) salted the soaking water (because that's what Marcella Hazan recommends); and 3) doubled the cooking herbs, tripled the number of oil-cured olives (pitted and halved first), and added a sprig of rosemary to the broth. So much flavor and I am already thinking about interesting ways to vary this brilliant recipe


The crisp fried sage and rosemary take an otherwise plain and simple bean bowl to another level. Black olives in oil also add a lot. Rosemary and sage are some of the easiest backyard, or container, herbs to grow. In March here in Idaho we have plenty of fresh herbs to zing up this dish. Plant some for yourself this year and you'll have year-round great smelling and tasting herbs. Thyme is also easy perennial but just getting going now.


So I was on the fence as to whether to try this recipe after reading through the comments. But given the fact that I have come to trust Eric Kim, I gave it a try.... This is a delicious dish. I made it as written, with two exceptions. First, I soaked the beans (gigante, chiapas black bean, marcella bean and whipple bean - the last three are rancho gordo beans) for approx 10 hours NOT in the fridge; Second, I cooked the beans 2 hours, then added some salt, and cooked an hour more. So good. L


Anyone have any advice on cooking the beans and for that matter, the whole recipe except the herbs in an Insta pot?

Harvey Kabaker

The fried rosemary and sage was an epic fail. Not a nice flavor or texture. Maybe they were overcooked and burnt. So I tried again, for a little over a minute. Nope.


I'm on my second big batch; we absolutely love these beans. They just get better and better with time! Note: the leftovers freeze beautifully, and when they get really cooked down and creamy -- voilà! A delicious chafing-dish dip, with that drizzle of olive oil and topping of crisped herbs amd Parm. I needed a quick appetizer recently, and this was a huge hit served with scoop-style corn chips.

Susan J

I thought that the fried sage and rosemary was over the top, but I happen to have some of both, and so I made them. I thought they would have different cooking times, so I did the sage leaves first, and then the stripped rosemary leaves (didn’t say to do so, just assumed). They were surprisingly elegant and on point! Glad I added them.


These are perfect. The parm rinds make them especially flavorful. I used homemade veg stock. Don't skimp on the olives.

Daphne Canard

This with polenta. Sublime.


Not enough beans, double the quantity for the time it takes to cook. I added a bit of tomato paste, and cooked sausage at the end. I drained quite a bit of the broth. The fried herbs were wonderful. Don’t forget to tell people there are unpitted olives in the mix!

Leonard Botal

The recipe calls for pitted olives.


This dish screams out for a dollop of aïoli, which I just happened to have on hand. An fun enhancement: aïoli with some preserved lemon added.


This was a terrible disappointment. Followed this recipe to a T: . Bland and dull. Soaked varied beans, added rinds (trimmed off wax) and spent a day simmering. We ended up with something that tasted like nothing at all.


I didn’t have a parmesan rind but i had a chunk of parmesan from which i cut about a 2 inch square and dropped it in the pot. I do not think ive ever tasted such delicious beans. The olives and the herbs …perfect. An umami bonanza.


I tried this w/ black, cannellini and small white beans. Not Rancho Gordo plain 'ol Goya. Soaked for 6 hours. They were tender in 1 1/2 hours with A LOT of liquid left. Had to actually bail. In the end I found this quite bland despite herbs and parm rind and olives. Added andouille to round it out as a main, and some peas for color but still bland beans. And with black beans the whole thing turns grey. I love beans, have made them before, like the idea of this recipe. But may not try again.


I'm usually not a big bean fan but took a chance on this recipe and was glad I did. I took the advice of another commenter and used Rancho Gordo beans which were delicious, I was about to use boring, water brined olives but just happened to find a jar of Trader Joe's oil brined Kalamata olives in my pantry that may not have been the same as the recommended oil-cured black olives but they aded a nice tangy flavor. And I would not limit each serving to only 4 olives -- use more!

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Parmesan Braised Beans With Olives Recipe (2024)


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