Beans that have been seasoned while they cook make a great side dish on their own or they can be stored in the refrigerator for use in soups, stews, risottos, or pasta dishes.
Italian Style Beans
1 pound dried cranberry or cannellini beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
1 small potato, peeled
2 tomatoes, halved
5 cloves garlic, smashed
a bundle of herbs (rosemary, sage, bay leaf, and thyme) tied together with cooking twine
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Put the beans in a large pot and cover with cold water by about 2 inches. Add the potato, tomatoes, garlic, herb bundle, and olive oil. Cover and place in the Sun Oven. Let the beans simmer until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the potato, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs. If not using immediately store the beans in their cooking liquid in an airtight container and refrigerate. If serving immediately drain, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Season the beans with the cooking liquid, additional oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.