Runner Cannellini Beans with Black Truffle Oil

10th May, 2010: Posted by G.L. Pease in Sides, beans, easy, vegetarian

This was inspired by a wonderful side dish served by a friend at one of our yearly gatherings. He was in a Spanish mode at the time, and presented a lovely meal accompanied by a dish of beautiful warm judion beans, dressed very simply with olive oil and a little salt. The large white beans had a wonderful, buttery texture, a delicious flavor, and were absolutely delightful served in this simple way.

I’ve been looking locally for dried judion beans, with no luck. A call to Rancho Gordo, however, found a wonderful replacement; runner cannellini beans. Their current supply (can we call it a crop if it’s already dried?) is large, supple, and thin skinned, with a delightful flavor, and that smooth buttery texture I was chasing. Fantastic! Here’s a slightly revved up version, with a little black truffle oil adding an earthy but sophisticated charms to this simple dish.

Ingredients – Serves 4-6

  • 0.5 pounds dried runner cannellini beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

For serving:

  • Black Truffle oil
  • Coarse sea salt – the red Hawaiian salt I used has a delightful flavor, and adds a beautiful splash of color, but Himalayan pink, or any good sea salt will do in a pinch


The night before you plan to make these, rinse and sort through the beans, discarding any that are discolored, and any shells that float to the top. Set them to soak with plenty of water (about three times the volume of the beans is a good start), and put the lid on.

The next day, put the beans in a large saucepan, along with enough of their soaking water to cover the beans by at least an inch. Over medium-high heat, bring the beans to a boil for five minutes, and skim off any thick foam that forms.

Reduce heat to a slow simmer, add the garlic cloves, and cook gently for about an hour until the beans are tender, adding freshly boiled water as necessary. Add 1 tsp of kosher salt after about 45 minutes.

At this point, the beans can be set aside, covered with their pot liquor, until needed. They’ll keep their texture for a day or so in the fridge.

To serve, warm the beans with their liquid in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Using a slotted spoon, place about a quarter cup of the beans on individual serving plates, drizzle with about a half teaspoon of the black truffle oil, an sprinkle with a little salt. Serve warm.

That’s it! This is delicious with some little crostini and a fresh, simple green salad, or as a side to grilled chops.

4 Responses

  1. Jon Burton Says:

    Looks perfect. I’m in. If one were to make an Internet order to the Rancho, what would a good shopping list be?

  2. glpease Says:

    Jon – I don’t think they’re on the website, but you’ve GOT to try the Eye of Goat (Ojo de Cabra) beans. They’ve got amazing flavor, and the pot liquor is amazing. I cooked up a batch with nothing but a little salt at the end. Served them with some chopped red onion, some cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Delicious! They’re running out, so get some while you can.

    They’ve got some Ayocote Morados, a beautiful deep purple bean that’s quite rare and in short supply. And a batch of Vaqueros are in – a beautiful variant of Anasazi beans. Oh, and get some Rio Zapes. It’s a pinto variant, that is reputed to have hints of chocolate and coffee. I’ve got some soaking now.

    The Yellow Eye beans are fantastic, too – and you WILL want to try them with the Smoky Yellow Eye recipe from a few days ago. ;) And, the Midnight black beans are gorgeous.

    Oh, and the Santa Maria Pinquitos, and the Sangre de Torro, and the Cargamato cranberry beans…

    Might be best to give them a call.

    I’m turning into a real bean fanatic!

  3. Daniel Says:

    From pipe tobacco blending genius to bean genius…Pease has hit it out of the park with this one. Keeping it simple, letting the food shine through. Can’t wait to get my grubby mitts on some of those beans!

  4. Matty Says:

    Good recipe. I had it with some Italian sausage stuffed with sharp prov. and a wonderful salad with fresh anchovies and fetta from the market.
    I think I need a bean pot. I never new beans were this much fun! Steve’s bean site is bangin. (thats a good thing)