KING OF THE EARLY BEANS
Fall at the local Farmer’s Market brings the most amazing variety of fresh dried beans. Some familiar and some new that inspire me to create something wonderful. This particular bean is an heirloom variety from Maine. The king of the early beans beautiful mix of red color compliments a simple rice dish, fish or a lovely Fall stew. I always love to have leftover cooked beans or lentils in my fridge every week. First, it is a great source of fiber, second compliments a salad or just a scrambled egg.
The beauty of young dried beans is that you do not have to soak them overnight. You can prepare them in under 2-3 hours. If you are unable to find fresh dried beans at your local farmers market my go-to online heirloom bean company, RANCHO GORDO
So, the following recipe is made from freshly dried beans which I served with a Panko Crusted Cod. Look for the Cod recipe in my next blog.
BEANS IN TOMATO SAUCE
3 cups cooked heirloom beans (or 2 cans of rinsed and drained white cannellini beans)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup white whine
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano (or dried)
salt and pepper
1 can whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
Add olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat..
Stir in chopped onion and cook until translucent.
Add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper, simmer for 4 minutes.
Stir in beans, wine and lemon zest. Simmer another 4 minutes.
Add in the tomatoes and sauté a few minutes until sauce thickens.
BASIC BEAN COOKING INSTRUCTIONS FRESHLY DRIED BEANS
1 cup dried beans (yields about 3 cups cooked beans)
Rinse in cold water. Place in a saucepan and cover with water 2” over beans.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat and soak for 1 hour. Drain and rinse well.
Place back in saucepan and cook beans by covering with 2” waters, simmering 1-2 hours depending on the size and age of bean. (If the bean cooking water starts to get low, always add hot water from a kettle.)
When the beans are almost done add a little salt keeping in mind that it takes time for the beans to absorb, so don’t over salt.
Now we have a basic cooked bean to enhance any dish.