Unlike most recipes for dried beans which dress the cooked beans with olive oil and lemon juice, this method simmers the beans in olive oil. The result is the best bean salad ever. The French use demi-sec haricots which need no pre-soaking, will cook in about 45 minutes and are superior in flavour.
Soak the beans for at least 8 hours or overnight in enough cold water to cover. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan, add the drained beans, garlic, herbs and tomato purée. Pour in enough water to cover the beans by 2.5cm (1