Beans are a great thing to do in the pressure cooker. Sure, sure, it’s easy to just buy a can of beans at the store. But really, there is no comparison between canned beans and home cooked beans. Just give it a try. And… if you have been cooking beans, but you haven’t been using a pressure cooker, then you will love the time savings.
This is a super simple recipe and it’s mainly written for the purpose of making beans. The rest of the salad is just to fancy up the beans. You can use this approach for any bean. Smaller beans like black beans cook about 3-4 minutes and larger beans go up to 9-12 minutes. Hip Pressure Cooking cook book has a good table of bean cooking times, or you can just google the type of bean you have and figure out times from there. If you only do a few types of beans, just do the internet search and put the times on a sticky note and stick into one of your cabinets or cookbooks for future reference.
A couple notes on the dried beans themselves.
- It’s best if you can find fresh beans. I noticed that not every grocery store even carries dried beans. I find the best ones at our local ethnic grocery store – they have a high turn over of beans, so its pretty easy to get fresh ones. Also, most are sold in clear bags. Spend a quick second and look in the bag – maybe the brand that is a little cheaper also has beans that look a little wrinkled or funny? then just spend the extra 20 cents and get the bag that looks better. We also have a farmer at the local farmers market that sells dried beans. His beans are super expensive – but I know from experience the time and energy that he has put into those beans, so that price is covering his costs (hopefully) – his beans will also be like no other bean out there. I know, I sound a little bean crazy.
- The beans need to be washed and soaked when you get them. Even the fancy beans from the local farmer need to be washed. Look through them and make sure you remove any little stones or any beans that look wrinkled or broken – you won’t get them all, but just do your best. Then rinse off the beans, drain, rinse again, and drain. Now put the beans into a large bowl and cover with at least two inches of water.
- In an ideal world, the beans should soak 8-12 hours on the counter. If you don’t have enough planning for this method, you can also do a quick soak method on them. Here’s a quick soak method – place washed beans in your pressure cooker and cover with 2 inches of water. Follow pressure cooker instructions and bring to high pressure for 1 minute followed by a natural pressure release. Then follow your cooking instructions for soaked beans.
- Here is what I do when I’m making beans – I soak a bunch of beans for 8-12 hours. I use the ones I need in my recipe and then freeze the rest of them (drained) in 2 cup portions for future use. I mark them as soaked so I know they are ready to go in future recipes. This is a great way to have beans on hand for any recipes that you may not have planned out 24 hours ahead of time!
- 1 bag of dried cannelini or other white beans, pre-soaked or quick soaked
- 1 small onion (optional)
- 1 garlic clove (optional)
- 1 small peeled carrot (optional)
- 1/2 green pepper (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 t olive oil
- Place all ingredients in your pressure cooker.
- Cover with about 2 inches of water – do not fill pressure cooker higher than 1/2 full.
- Following instructions on your pressure cooker, bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes in a stovetop pressure cooker or 7-8 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. If you are using other type of beans, follow recommended pressure cooking times for the size and type of bean.
- Allow pressure to release following natural release methods. Make sure to release using natural release methods and beans tend to foam and can cause small particles to block the release valve – this is especially likely if you do a quick pressure release.
- Drain the beans. You can save the liquid to use in soups. Discard the vegetables if you used them.
- Salt the beans while still warm.