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Baked Beans

My mother made baked beans for every summer event, from beach parties to barbecues to graduations. I never much liked them. And then i decided to make this side dish recipe with rich, creamy cannellini beans (my faves) and the result is a vegan baked bean dish that i take to every summer event, from beach parties to barbecues to graduations. Everyone loves them.

2 cups dried cannellini beans, rinsed, sorted
6 cups spring or filtered water
2 bay leaves
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
3 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
Sea salt
1, 4-ounce can of tomato paste
1 small can diced tomatoes
1/3 cup barley malt
2 teaspoons dried mustard
Cracked black pepper
Scant pinch ground nutmeg
Scant pinch ground cinnamon
Scant pinch smoked paprika

Place beans and water in a heavy pot with bay leaves and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until tender, about an hour. Drain and transfer beans and bay leaves to a lightly oiled large casserole dish.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Place oil in a skillet with onion and garlic over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt and saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir into beans.

Whisk together tomato paste, diced tomatoes, barley malt, mustard, a light seasoning of salt and pepper, and spices. Mix into the beans until well incorporated.

Cover and bake for 3 1/2 hours, stirring frequently and adding a small amount of water, if needed, to keep the beans moist as they bake. Remove cover and bake 30 minutes more to "set" the beans.

Makes 6-8 servings.


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