How to cook dried beans

SOAKING DRIED BEANS OVERNIGHT  Measure the amount of beans to cook  . Beans will roughly double in size after cooking – so if you need 4 cups of beans measure 2 cups of dried beans to prepare.  Place dry beans in a bowl that is large enough to allow for the beans to expand. Fill the bowl with water to at least 3 inches above the beans. Cover and let soak several hours or overnight.  Drain the beans, put them in a pot, and add 2 to 3 cups water for every cup of beans. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed. Cooked beans can be stored in the refrigerator or the freezer.

HOW TO USE DRY BEANS WITHOUT SOAKING THEM  Wash and pick over your dried beans. Place them in a pot and add enough water to cover the beans by at least 2 inches. Bring the water to a boil on the stove. Reduce the heat and let the beans simmer. Every 10 minutes, stir the beans. Once the beans become slightly tender, add a dash of salt. Cooking times vary depending on the type of bean. Add more water as needed.

Lentils take approximately 20 minutes while chick peas take three to four hours.

QUICK METHOD FOR SOAKING CHICK PEAS (GARBONZO) Rinse your chick peas. Put them in a large pot.  Add 2 to 3 cups of water for every cup of chickpeas. Place the pot on the stove  and bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat after two minutes and set the beans aside to soak for 2 hours.  Drain the beans, put them back in the pot, and add 2 to 3 cups water for every cup of chickpeas. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, adding more water if needed.

— recipe developed by Nancy McMillan