3 cups Tongue of Fire beans
2 stalks celery
1 onion peeled and studded with 2-4 cloves
1 bunch fresh herbs of choice tied together in a bouquet garni
salt to taste
3 cloves garlic minced to a paste
2 Tb lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tb olive oil
Rinse the beans well and place them in a large bowl for soaking. Cover with 12 cups of cold water and soak for about 12 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Put the beans in a large stock pot; add the vegetables and herbs and 12 cups cold water. Bring to a simmer over high heat, and then reduce their heat so they are barely simmering. Cook until the beans are just tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on how you like them. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and let cool in the liquid with the vegetables.
Combine the garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your palette.
To serve, drain the beans and place in a large pan over low heat. Add the above vinaigrette and gently warm. Plate on a platter and top with shavings of Parmesan and chopped parsley.
Feel free to experiment with any additions or substitutions you may like. Add some local bacon, caramelized onions, serve over greens. With such a simple recipe, you can take it any way you would like.