Recipes for Beans

Black Bean Express   

The hearty taste of black beans is complemented rather than camouflaged by the ingredients in this simple recipe.  

1 cup dry black beans
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
1/2 tsp cumin
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
3 leeks, chopped
1 tbsp miso
1 tsp molasses
1/4 cup parsley, chopped                 

Soak the beans overnight or for a minimum of 4 hours. Cover beans with at least twice the volume of fresh, cold water, and add oil. Heat to boiling and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook the ginger, cumin and garlic for several minutes. Add leeks and sauté until golden.

Dilute the miso in a small amount of warm water and combine with molasses.

Combine everything with the drained soybeans and cook on stovetop for 20 minutes. Shortly before serving, stir in parsley.

Serve with a cooked grain.

Serves 4.

Thanksgiving Beans

This dish is especially festive if the main ingredients are fresh from the garden.

1 cup dried beans
4 tbsp cooking oil
4 medium onions, coarsely chopped
2 tbsp garlic, chopped
6 cups Italian plum tomatoes, chopped
1 medium-sized winter squash, cooked
1 tbsp green/red chili or jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
2 tbsp orange rind, chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
2 large tart apples, peeled, cored and cubed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Soak the beans for 4 hours. Heat to boiling in a large pot and simmer for 1 hour.

Sauté onions and garlic in oil in a large skillet until golden. Stir in tomatoes, squash, peppers, orange pieces, raisins and spices and simmer uncovered for 20-30 minutes.

Stir in drained beans and apples. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve with oven-roasted potatoes.

Serves 6-8.

Three Bean Salad  

This variation of a traditional salad is greatly enhanced by the colours, textures and freshness inherent in home-grown beans. It can include as many varieties as you like. Red and white kidney beans with black garbanzos or black soybeans make an appealing combination.

1 1/2 cups dry beans
1/2 cup leeks, shallots or chives, minced
6 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp dill or basil, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp tamari                  
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Soak beans in separate pots for a minimum of 4 hours. Heat to boiling and simmer until desired texture is reached. Drain and chill.  

Thoroughly mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Make appealing individual servings by putting half a cup or more of the mixture on to Romaine or other leaf lettuce. Garnish with a lemon wedge, a sprig of parsley, fresh dill, chervil or chive flowers.

Serves 4-6.