Yes, there is some work and time involved with cooking a bag of Rancho Gordo heirloom beans. As long as you’re cooking, cook the whole pound. It lasts from five to seven days in the ‘fridge and you can reinvent the pot countless ways.
Here is my Lucky Seven list for things to do with the pot you so lovingly made:
Ding, Dang, but I love my Charro beans. Good cooked beans, some broth, tomatoes, bell pepper, jalapeño, cilantro and bacon. My friend Wade in Houston makes a great version. Read the blog.
The act of making a pot of beans means you’re halfway home if you want to make a soup. The bean broth is a fine base for whatever you want to create. You can thin it out with water (if they’re heirloom beans) or chicken stock or a combination of both. I love making a soup with kale and roasted red peppers. Read the blog post.
Adding beans to a salad makes it a meal. I love to contrast the soft, creamy beans with something crunchy like celery or radishes but it’s a free form event and sometimes it’s best to let what’s hanging out in your refrigerator decide what goes in your masterpiece. How does a black bean and quinoa salad sound? Read the blog post.
Beans on Toast
If you want to see your English friends get nostalgic, mention beans on toast. If you actually have English beans on toast, you might be confused as to the warm memory. Cross the water to Italy and you get a different experience. Lovely, delicate white beans on a rustic bread, drizzled with the very best extra virgin olive oil. Perhaps some fresh cracked pepper. A dusting of Parmesan cheese? Yes, that sound fine. My knees have buckled.
Take some beans, some liquid and introduce them to your food processor or immersion blender and you have a dip. There are lots of good variations involving spices, herbs, anchovies and more but the basic idea is very easy. A favorite variation is to add Spanish paprika and then top with crab meat after blending. Read the blog post.
Let’s not make this for our French friends, but a delicious and rustic variation on scramble eggs is to add some beans to the base. There’s nothing delicate about it but they add moisture, texture, protein and flavor. One version is made with refried beans. Read the blog post.
A Simple Bowl of Beans
In reality, my favorite way to eat beans is simply in a bowl. Maybe a little olive oil and cheese on the top. Maybe some raw grated onion and a squeeze of lime. If your beans are heirloom (and I know exactly where you should be buying them, by the way!) and you’ve made them with some care, how do you improve on a bowl?