If Using Dried Beans
- Put them in a bowl, cover with lukewarm water, and soak them overnight or no less than 6 hours before cooking them. Drain them, put them in a saucepan with enough water to cover by about 3 inches, put a lid on the pot, and bring to a slow boil. Cook at a steady but slow boil for 40 to 50 minutes.
If Using Canned Beans
Before tossing the beans in the salad, heat them in a saucepan with the liquid from the can until they are lukewarm. Drain well.
- Using a paring knife or a peeler, trim away the tough outer skin of the thicker stalks of the cime di rapa. Wash the vegetable in several changes of cold water. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt, put in the cime di rapa, and cook until tender. Drain well when done and transfer to a salad bowl. The vegetable should be at room temperature for the salad, and when cooked may be kept thus for a few hours before serving, but do not refrigerate.
- If using cooked dried beans that were prepared in advance, reheat them in their liquid until lukewarm, drain well, and add to the salad bowl. Or put in the warm, drained canned beans. Add the salt, olive oil, and liberal grindings of black pepper. Toss thoroughly, taste and correct for seasoning, and serve.