Bean Lover Convert in Food Traditions & Culture Posted March 18, 2006 My epiphany was a side dish of lentils my mother-in-law made several years ago. They were so amazingly delicious that I had a hard time believing the only ingredients were lentils, water, and salt.When she came to visit us here in MA a few months later, she gave me her secret: puy lentils and a good quality sea salt in spring water, along with slow, gentle cooking. I've followed her directions since then and have been able to replicate them with no problems. I make lentil soups now and freeze them. Or I jazz up the plain lentils with tiny cubes of celery, carrots and/or onion. The lentil epiphany led me to branch out into beans, thanks to my pressure cooker. Last summer I made a warm bean salad out of flageolots with garlic- and rosemary-infused olive oil that was out of this world. I literally sat down and plowed through a bowl of those beans just as I would plow through dessert. I never disliked beans -- I guess I just never appreciated them much because they've always come out of cans or have been merely a vehicle for some kind of sauce. Now I enjoy beans in a starring role.