Give your beans a good rinse and pluck out any bits of pebbles or debris—yes, you’ll find those sometimes! Put your beans in a big heavy-bottomed pot and fill with enough water to cover the beans, plus two more inches. Pick an ingredient from each category in the chart (or more than one if you’re feeling a little wild!) and throw those in the pot along with a big glug of olive oil. Bring everything to a boil for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to a very gentle simmer and cover with a lid. Now wait an hour, or two, or maybe more depending on your beans. You want them to be super soft and break with a gentle press.
Remove all of your aromatic and spicy add-ins, but hang on to the broth. It’s liquid gold. Serve your beans with another drizzle of oil and salt if it needs it. Samin Nosrat suggests chili flakes, lemon juice, and tahini—and we approve!