This is a good companion for any roast or grilled meat dish and it can also stand alone as a vegetarian option, served with some sautéed greens and a small dish of feta. You could even stir through some freshly chopped dill before baking.
Drain the beans, put them in a saucepan with the bay leaf, cover generously with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any scum that rises, lower the heat slightly and cook for about 1½ hours or until they are very tender. Add salt towards the end of the cooking time.
The beans should be tender, golden on the top and still with a little sauce. Serve warm, with an extra drizzling of olive oil if you like.
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