Emily Kaiser of Food & Wine Magazine wrote an article in November 2008 that highlighted two of my favorite things: Steve Sando's Rancho Gordo heirloom beans and a bean recipe from NOPA – a restaurant that was just a short walk from my front door for many years. I've enjoyed Laurence Jossel's beans countless times, both in the restaurant and in my own kitchen. I even brought her with me for Thanksgiving for a year. Imagine plump, creamy beans baked in a light, chunky tomato sauce, with crispy breadcrumbs, lots of flavorful crumbled feta and an emerald-green drizzle of oregano-parsley pesto. I love his original recipe, but the last time I made it I decided to add a few twists of my own. I made a subtly smoky chipotle version of the tomato sauce, a coriander drizzle, kale, whole grain crumbs, and queso fresco cheese. I'm adding the recipe below.
Make Ahead Magic
One of the great things about this recipe is that you can prepare many of the components in advance. You can cook the dried beans, make the pesto, make the tomato sauce, and toast the breadcrumbs. None of these are extremely difficult. Then the components are assembled in no time and put in the oven. Perfect when you have friends.
Can I use canned beans?
I'm sure someone will ask, so I'll answer ahead of time – how about canned beans? Ok – here's the deal – in my experience, canned beans lack the texture that freshly cooked beans have. The canned boys tend to break up and go to a mush much faster. In this recipe, they'll likely work, but won't hold up as well. The taste will be good, but the texture will be a different animal. If you go this route, don't skimp on the breadcrumbs.
Try these beans (both versions!), They are outrageously good. The shot above is the recipe in progress before baking. And the photo below shows the beans before soaking. You are huge. You look for beans the size of your thumb before soaking them for this recipe. In the recipe below, I make some suggestions for different types.
Likewise! There is no shortage of bean recipes on this site. The ones I make the most are these homemade beans, and if you've never cooked dried beans before, no problem! In this post, we will teach you how to cook beans that are easy and amazing.
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