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Michele is right on target about salt making most beans tough. Keep in mind that the reverse is true - if you are trying to keep the more tender beans from disintegrating, add salt to the cooking water. I always cook dried lima beans in salted water. Several veg. Cookbooks have excellent tips on handling beans and dealing with problems - laurel"s kitchen and lorna sass" cooking in an ecological kitchen (or maybe from an ecological kitchen, i can"t remember) come to mind immediately