Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pot O’ Beans


There’s no better way to follow up a heartfelt post about my new blog name and launch than a Pot O’ Beans.

The other day I posted a round up of some well-loved dishes I’ve been enjoying during this vegetarian month. I also alluded to a delicious bean dish I made.

I found this recipe for Pot o’ Beans in the January issue of Bon Appetit magazine. I was attracted to it because it didn’t require pre-soaking the beans. The author also described texture of the beans when they were done as chewy on the outside and creamy on the inside. That resonated with me as sometimes canned beans are just mushy all the way through. While I’ll always be a fan of canned beans for their convenience, the thought of having something simmering all afternoon on the stove is really appealing on a cold day. And it made the house smell amazing. While the beans are cooking, make cornbread.

IMG_3373This is not the greatest picture – you can’t even see the beans! To be fair, it was literally 3 degrees outside and I was cold and starving…

Once the beans were done, here’s how I served them:

  1. Using a wide-brimmed bowl, I put down a bed of the beans and some of their delicious, thickened cooking liquid.
  2. While they were still piping hot, I sprinkled them with a bit of feta so it got kind of melty.
  3. Over that came some sauteed greens; mustard, collards, kale or spinach all work. There’s a quick recipe for greens below.
  4. Then I tossed on a fried egg and sprinkled the whole delicious mess with cilantro and green onions.
  5. Serve with cornbread. Here’s a good cornbread recipe from Mark Bittman.
  6. Dot with Sriracha then crack open a beer.

A perfect vegetarian meal for a cold winter day. Yum!

Quick Greens Recipe: In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add 1 bunch of greens, trimmed (large stalks removed), and chopped. Stir to coat leaves with oil. It’ll be hard to do this because there are so many – you’ll be amazed at how much they cook down. Add ½ cup water and cover. Steam for 5-10 minutes, making sure water doesn’t all evaporate. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once greens are done, add a splash of apple cider vinegar.


Simmered Black Beans

Yield: 8-10 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2-3 hours

You don't need to soak these beans overnight because they simmer for 2-3 hours. Make sure the beans are actually simmering (not boiling and not just steaming) so they cook fast enough. If you don't use all the beans in one sitting, freeze them. I used an enameled cast iron Le Creuset pot to cook these suckers. Thanks Amy and Elisa for the engagement gift!


3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons cumin
1 pound dried black or pinto beans
salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (I had some whole cherry tomatoes frozen that I tossed in toward the end.)


In a heavy pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 7-8 minutes until onion is translucent. During the last minute, add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add chili powder and cumin toss to lightly toast spices in oil. Add dried beans and stir to coat with oil.

Cover beans with water by two inches. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer, partially covered until beans are cooked to desired doneness, usually 2-3 hours depending on the freshness of the beans. Add more water, if needed midway through cooking.

During the last 15 minutes of cooking, season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes.

To serve, pair with cornbread, sauteed greens, a fried egg, cilantro and/or green onions, and dot with sriracha.

Recipe adapted from Pot o' Beans, Bon Appetit magazine, January 2014.


2 Responses to “Pot O’ Beans”

  1. 1

    Peg — January 24, 2014 @ 9:44 pm

    Dear dear Annakate.I am dazzled by your posts and the photo of you and your brothers is the one that graces my space at brings a smile each and every day!!

    • Annakate replied: — January 26th, 2014 @ 4:48 pm

      So glad, mama! Love you.

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