Not the most attractive recipe, but never mind that! What this pot of beans lacks in looks, it makes up for in flavor and simplicity. Seriously! This recipe is for all of you with a new Instant Pot, but I'll also include the conventional version where you slow cook these beans in a low temperature oven. Both are incredible, but I have to say, I was astonished by the flavor and texture of the beans cooked in the Instant Pot, and the broth had so much body!
Here's the scoop. I'm still putting my new Instant Pot through its first paces (here's a starter guide I pulled together), and decided to attempt to adapt one of my favorite bean recipes. If you've heard of fagioli al fiasco, you know where we're headed - I included a version in my last book. Traditionally this is a Tuscan way of slow cooking beans, overnight in the embers of a fire place - beans, garlic, chile flakes, olive oil, and rosemary. Not much else. Unfortunately there's no wood-fired oven in my house, so years ago, I adapted a version to slow cook in a dutch oven for a few hours in a low-temperature oven. It's one of my favorite bean recipes. And now, taking things a step further, we're going to do a riff on that version for the Instant Pot (or whatever electric pressure cooker you have). The fragrant broth is freckled with olive oil and develops an incredible amount of flavor - even more so when cooked under pressure.
There are a couple details worth noting. We're going to pressure cook pre-soaked beans here, and then stir in kale after the beans are cooked, to make this more of a super healthful (and delicious!) one-dish meal. The residual heat from the pressure cooker will cook down the kale. You can serve the beans just like that, stew-like, perhaps with a thread of olive oil drizzled on top. Or, you can load up your bowls with whatever toppings you have. Pictured here: chopped scallions and cilantro, quick pickled red onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, dusting of cheese. If none of these are your jam, a simple, spicy chile oil might hit the spot. I love bean stews with a strong kick of chile oil.
Please let me know what you think here! This is my first attempt at writing a recipe for the IP, and I want to do a good job of communicating instructions (so many buttons!). Also - there are many different models, and I want the recipes to cross over devices, etc. This one seems pretty straight forward - ingredients in the pot, pressure cook, stir in kale, serve with any toppings you like.
Instant Pot Fiasco Beans (Fagioli al Fiasco)
I love this with all sorts of toppings, but I also enjoy it topped with a simple tangle of arugula on top, alongside a slab of well-toasted bread rubbed with a bit of olive oil and garlic. The best kind of simple food. Also, for fun, play around with the red pepper flakes here. The standard ones are delicious, but I've also experimented with others (like Aleppo or Greek chiles), and they really lend their own personality! For a vegan version, simply skip the grated cheese. If you forgot to soak your beans, one of your fellow readers (thank you Caroline!) noted success with "high pressure for 30 minutes and then natural release for about 30-45."
1 pound / 433 g dried borlotti (cranberry) or cannellini beans, soaked overnight, drained
6 cups / 1.5 L water
1/4 cup olive oil
5 medium cloves garlic, peeled & smashed
5 medium sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
scant 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4-5 big handfuls of kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
for serving (any / all of the following): herbs, scallions, lemon wedges, grated cheese, quick pickled red onions
For the Instant Pot / Electric Pressure Cooker: Place the beans, water, olive oil, garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes in the Instant Pot. Close the lid, turn the lever in the back to "seal". Pressure cook on high for 22 minutes. When finished, allow to natural release for ten minutes, and then carefully finish with quick release. Gently shake or tap the pressure cooker, and THEN carefully open away from you. Gently, stir in the salt and kale, it will collapse in a minute or two. Transfer the beans to a large serving bowl. Serve each bowl with any of the suggested toppings you like.
Conventional: Preheat oven to 225F / 110C, with a rack in the bottom. Place the beans in a large ovenproof casserole or pot. Add the water, olive oil, garlic, sage, and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer on the stove top. Remove from the heat, cover, leaving a tiny crack, then transfer to the oven.
Bake for two hours, or until the beans are plump and tender. Along the way you want the beans to gently bubble and simmer. Check on them after a few minutes, and if you need to adjust your oven up to 250F / 120C. Stir in the salt after 90 minutes and finish baking. When you remove the beans from the oven, stir in the kale. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8.
For reference, this is the Instant Pot I used for this recipe: Instant Pot DUO Plus 6 Qt 9-in-1
Prep time: 5 minutes - Cook time: 25 minutes