Prep Time: 10 minutes + time to soak beans
Cook Time: 30 minutes + time to cook beans
Keywords: boil blender saute side gluten-free low-carb nut-free sugar-free vegetarian beans onion Mexican
Ingredients (Serves 4 as a side dish)
- 1 cup / 200 g / 7 ounces pinto beans or painted pony beans or other dried beans of choice
- 4 cups / 950 ml water
- A bay leaf
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- A handful of parsley stems (you will use the leaves later)
- 2 small sprigs fresh winter savory or oregano
- A 2-inch / 5 cm piece of kombu (optional)
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 tablespoon / 15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 ounces / 170 g onion, finely chopped
- A pinch red pepper flakes
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
InstructionsHow to cook dry beans
The way I cook beans for further use comes from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison (Beans with Aromatics). After soaking the beans for several hours or overnight in the water, empty the whole bowl into a saucepan and add all the aromatics.
Bring the water to a lively boil quickly, and keep it there for five minutes, then turn down the heat and let the beans simmer, covered, until they are ready. How long this takes depends on the type of beans and their freshness. Add salt and stir.
Let the beans cool in their broth, then remove the aromatics and discard them. Let the beans rest in their cooking broth until ready to use.How to finish the dish
Warm up the olive oil in a frying pan (large enough to also accommodate the beans) and add onion, cumin and red pepper flakes. Cook on gentle heat until the onion is soft and lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of salt and stir.
While the onion cooks, drain the beans, leaving them moist and saving the liquid. Mash the beans, preferably with an immersion blender, which lets you control the level of smoothness of the final product. You want to leave some texture, i.e., do not process until smooth.
Add mashed beans to the onion, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes. Pour 1/2 cup / 120 ml of the beans' cooking liquid into the pan and stir. Cook, stirring often, until the beans reach the desired consistency. (Use more of the beans' cooking liquid if necessary.) Season with salt, to taste, and take off the heat.
Sprinkle parsley, stir well and serve. (I actually like them better the day after).