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Flageolet Beans In Cream (Flageolets A La Creme)

1 pound dried flageolet beans, about 2 cups
8 cups cold water
1 carrot, about 1/4 pound
1 onion, about 1/4 pound, stuck with 2 whole cloves
2 cloves
2 ribs celery, trimmed
3 sprigs fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt to taste, if desired
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup heavy cream


Put the flageolets in a mixing bowl and add cold water to cover about two inches above the top of the beans. Let stand overnight. Drain the beans and put them in a kettle. Add the eight cups of water, the carrot and the onion stuck with cloves. Tie the celery, parsley sprigs and bay leaf into a bundle and add it. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Cover and let simmer two hours or slightly less until the flageolets are tender. Remove and discard the onion, celery, parsley and bay leaf. Remove the carrot and cut it into small cubes. Set aside. Drain the beans but reserve one- half cup of the cooking liquid. Set aside. Heat the butter in a large skillet and add the garlic and shallots. Cook briefly, stirring, and add the beans, chopped parsley, carrot and cream. Let simmer five minutes and serve.

Source: cooking.nytimes.com