Beans, beans, and more beans!
As I explained here yesterday, as of late, I have been obsessed with beans.
It all happened after finishing a chapter in An Everlasting Meal. You see, Tamar Adler explains that beans are amazing and how most people don’t care for them because they’re cooked poorly. Obviously, being the type of person I am, I took this as a personal challenge. I must make great beans!
Now, they are showing up in all of our meals. Let me explain. I boil beans one day. When they are finished, a portion is made into hummus. The remaining beans are put into a jar with their broth and used for soup or in other dishes later in the week. They are everywhere!
I know I’m learning this a little late in the season. I mean, all of the fresh Spring produce is about to surface, how could I possibly be obsessing over beans at this point in the game, right? But I’m also learning great ways to combine fresh seasonal produce with the classic bean.
How to boil great beans:
Since I always fail to presoak my beans, rinse and drain them the day of. Place them in a pot and fill it with water. You can make any amount of bean, just be sure the pot is large enough to add veggies and water.
Bring the beans and water to a boil, then turn the heat off and allow to sit covered for 1.5 hours.
Drain the beans and place back into the pot. Add any roughly chopped vegetables you wish to make a good broth (I use an onion, a garlic clove, Jalapenos, and Serranos), a heavy serving of salt, a splash of olive oil, and a parmesan rind. Fill the pot with water and bring to a simmer.
Cook 3-5 hours. Beans are done when you can pull out a spoonful, taste each individually, and they are each done.
Make hummus: spoon out enough bean (it’s okay if a little broth drips with it, but try to avoid bringing too much along), onion, and pepper to fill about 2/3 of a small food processor. Add one garlic clove, a drizzle of olive oil, a spoonful of tahini sauce, juice of half a lemon, and salt. Process until smooth and test for taste, adjust accordingly. Store in the refrigerator. Use hummus as usual or serve the hummus on toast topped with fresh vegetables. Lately I’ve found English cucumbers to be the best, fresh tomatoes are great as well!
Save the remaining beans and broth in a large jar. Serve as soup, in Mexican dishes, or alone.
Notes: The beans and their broth can be flavored with anything you’d like. You can even use some leftovers. Last week I had a bit of green chili left and added it to the mix before simmering. It added some amazing flavor. Experiment to find combinations you enjoy.
Boiling beans like this causes me to LOVE.THEM! For the last month they have been my lunch and shown up at several dinners each week. Their flavor is just irresistible and each time I find the soup running out or the hummus getting low I can’t help but get another batch going. How do you feel about beans?