Servings: Serves 6–8
- 1 pound dry beans (white, navy, or cannellini)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt , plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper , plus more to taste
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), chopped
- 1 small red onion , diced
- Canola or grapeseed oil , for frying
- 1 bunch sage
Place beans in a large pot and fill with just enough water to cover. Simmer until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Just before they're done cooking, season beans with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (if you season any sooner, skins of beans may split and centers may harden). Drain, if necessary and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, with a mortar and pestle, crush garlic and remaining 1 teaspoon salt until a paste forms. Add mustard and mix well. Add vinegar. Gradually whisk in olive oil until a smooth emulsion forms. Pour mixture over beans while still warm. Add tomatoes and onion; toss to coat and set aside.
Pour in enough canola or grapeseed oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet and place over medium-high heat until oil is very hot but not smoking. Add sage leaves in 1 layer, sprinkle with salt and fry lightly until crisp, about 2 minutes. (If leaves are crowded, fry in batches.) With a slotted spoon, remove to a plate covered with paper towels; let drain.
Sample salad and adjust seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with sage leaves just before serving.