Bean cooking Q&A with Ali Slagle
You probably already know Ali Slagle from her ridiculously easy and scrumptious recipes in NYT Cooking and her debut cookbook, I Dream of Dinner. It's no secret that Ali's a bean lover, so we asked her to share her take on our cooking guide so you can personalize your beans like the bean queen herself.
Q: Do you soak?
A: If I'm buying beans from the grocery store, yes. If I'm using Primary Beans, no! Because the beans are so fresh and cook so quickly, I want to give them as much time with their aromatics as possible so they’re as flavorful as possible.
Q: What's your cooking vessel preference?
A: Dutch oven.
Q: What are your favorite aromatics?
A: They're guided by what I don't have to get a cutting board and knife out for, which still leaves plenty of options. Always salt, pepper, olive oil, and a bay leaf (bay leaves really do something!). Sometimes thyme and a whole dried chile.
Q: What are your favorite brothy beans toppings?
A: A very fried egg + very toasted bread for dipping. I also love to add beans and their broth to leftover tomato sauce.
Q: What are your favorite quick things to do with cooked beans?
A: When I have only had coffee and it’s somehow 2 PM, I can still make chickpeas dressed with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper. In fact, there’s a section in I Dream of Dinner devoted to emergency chickpeas.