Posted by: lornasass | March 16, 2010


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In the always charming and cook-worthy recipes shared by Elissa Altman on her exuberant blog, Poor Man’s Feast, the pressure cooker showed up today as her newest kitchen ally.

Just like many of us have come to rely on the food processor for making quick work of chopping and shredding, Elissa reveals how she prepares an elegant, vegan, white bean gratin from scratch in under an hour.  How does she do it?  By using the pressure cooker to prepare the beans!

Elissa prefers to do a pressure-cooker quick-soak of the beans and change the water before finishing them off.  I usually just cook the beans straight through without any pre-soaking and use the natural pressure release, using 9 for large limas (which I adore!), 22 for navy beans, 25 for Great Northern, and 28 minutes for cannellini.

Check out Elissa’s blog and sign up to be delighted regularly by her kitchen adventures and fine prose.  I am thrilled to have her on board to help me spread the good word about pressure cooking.  Happy cooking to all!



  1. She adds a piece of kombu to the beans when they are cooking to reduce the foaming. Is this something you have heard of before?

    • I’ve always read in the macrobiotic literature that kombu helps make the beans more digestible, never anything about reducing the foaming…

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