Adapted from Florentine: The True Cuisine of Florence by Emiko Davies
- 1 pound dried cannellini beans
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 1 bay leaf
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for finishing
- 1 Tablespoon salt
- Black pepper
- Pick through the dried cannellini beans, removing any small stones or debris. Rinse the beans under cold running water and place them in a large bowl. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches. Set aside on the counter at room temperature and let soak for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- The next day, drain the beans through a colander and place them in a heavy bottomed pot with the garlic cloves, bay leaf, and olive oil. Fill the bowl with enough cold water to cover everything by at least 2 inches. Bring the beans to a gentle simmer over low heat and cook covered until the beans are tender and cooked through, about 2 hours. Periodically remove the lid to spoon off any scum that rises to the top of the water. Towards the end of the cooking time, add in the salt and some freshly ground black pepper.
- Drain the beans through a colander set into a large heat-proof bowl. Reserve the cooking liquid to use like broth for soups. If not using the bean cooking liquid immediately, let it cool completely to room temperature and freeze for later use. Serve the beans warm dressed with more olive oil poured on top to finish.