Now I know dried beans are cheap and good, and I do buy them from the bulk bin occasionally and take the time to cook them up. But not as much as I’d like. To make a pot of beans, you have to commit to being around for a while. You more or less have to watch the beans cook (and we all know what happens to a watched pot, right?), tasting them every 30 minutes to monitor their consistency, removing them from the heat when they’re neither too hard nor too soft. It’s hard to time this perfectly, since cooking time depends on the freshness of your beans, which you have no way of knowing.
You can use this recipe for pretty much any bean. The only important thing to note is that you shouldn’t add any salt til very near the end of cooking; it can cause your beans to remain hard.
Freshly Cooked Chickpeas
Makes about 3 1/2 cups
If you don’t have a slow cooker, you’ll just have to babysit your beans. After they’ve soaked, place them in a pot with a few inches of water to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1-2 hours, until the chickpeas are very soft.
1 1/3 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight*
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
NOTE: If you’re trying to speed up the pace, you can skip the overnight soak. Instead, place the chickpeas in a pot, cover them with two inches of water, and bring to a boil. Turn off the water and let them sit for 1 hour. Then proceed with the recipe.
Place the soaked chickpeas, the garlic, and the olive oil in a slow-cooker. Add water to cover the chickpeas by at least 4 inches, then place the lid on and turn the slow-cooker to low. Cook for about 6 hours on high or 12 hours on low, until the chickpeas have almost no resistance when you bite into them. Add the salt, then cook until they’re completely soft. Turn off the slow cooker and drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid in a bowl. (Store any extra chickpeas in their liquid in the fridge.)