A Big Pot of Beans!
Yield: Makes ~1 1/2 quarts
Start with a visit to PCC's bulk department. The variety of beans and grains is glorious! Cook up a savory batch using the basic recipe below, or try one of the fun variations. Enjoy them as a delicious and stunningly nutritious meal and you'll also have leftovers for a variety of quick and economical dishes!
Place the beans, water or broth in a large pot. Simmer the beans gently, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper. For a twist try one of the these variations below:
Some ideas for variations on the basic recipe:
Power Beans: Cook a 4- to 5-inch piece of dried kombu (A member of the kelp family; very important to Japanese cuisine and health conscious diners everywhere!) in with the beans. When the beans are done, cut the kombu into thin strips and stir it back into the beans.
Beans with Aromatic Vegetables: Add about 1 1/2 cups total of chopped fresh vegetables, such as onion, carrot, celery or fennel in any combination.
Cuban Black Beans: Add 1 chopped onion, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano and 4 cloves chopped garlic to black beans in the original recipe. Season with lime juice after cooking.
Southern-style Beans: Use navy beans or black-eyed peas. Add 1 smoked turkey leg, 1 cup chopped onion and 1 small can chopped tomatoes. Shred the turkey meat after the beans are cooked and add it back to the pot.
Beans and Grains: Substitute 1 cup of hearty grains such as barley, buckwheat groats, spelt berries or kamut for 1 cup of the beans. Soak with the beans as directed. Season with fresh herbs and aromatic vegetables of your choice.
Beans and Greens: Fold 4 cups chopped leafy greens into the beans in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Season with a little balsamic vinegar.
Quick-soaking method: Rinse the beans and remove any rocks or residue. Combine them with 8 cups of water in a large pot. Bring to a rapid boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the beans and rinse them.
Overnight-soaking method: Rinse the beans and remove any rocks or residue. Combine them with 8 cups of water in a large pot. Let stand overnight or at least 6 hours. Drain the beans and rinse them.
Recipe by, PCC Chef
ABOUT OUR CHEF: Lynne Vea
Lynne Vea is a graduate of the Executive Chef Program at Le Cordon Bleu, Paris and has been cooking with PCC Natural Markets since 2001. Featured on King-5’s "Gardening with Ciscoe," she demonstrates easy and delicious recipes using seasonal ingredients.
Lynne is an admired PCC Cooks instructor, teaching a variety of popular PCC Cooks classes throughout the year.
She loves to collect old cookbooks, hunt for wild berries, and cook seven-course dinners where the guests are encouraged to dance and cavort between courses.
Find more recipes from Lynne.