I spent the entire weekend cleaning up our vegetable garden. Even though the weather has been gorgeous in the Bay Area, it really feels like summer is turning into fall.
Today's dish is my attempt to showcase the colors of this season, mixing several kinds of beans. I prepared black eyed peas, French green lentils and butter beans. I soaked them overnight, then sautéed them in shallots and carrots to bring out the natural sweetness of the ingredients. I added blanched green beans at the end and flavored the warm bean salad with a citrus dressing.
Servings: 8 servings
½ pound dried mixed beans of your choice (about 1 cup)
6 ounces soy chorizo
1 clove garlic, finely minced
2 shallots, finely diced
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
1 carrot, diced
1½ cups green beans, cut into ½" pieces
½ cup citrus vinaigrette
, or your favorite salad dressing
1½ teaspoons black pepper, freshly cracked
Prepping the dried beans: Wash the beans, discarding any that are floating or odd-shaped. Wash and rinse thoroughly in several water baths (about three times) and set aside to soak overnight (preferably 2 days).
Cooking the dried beans: The next day (or after 2 days), drain the beans. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pressure cooker (without the lid). Once the oil is hot, add the garlic. Cook until shiny without coloration. Add the soaked beans. The oil should coat all the beans. Add water until they're completely covered. There should be at least a 2-inch-high level of water. Carefully seal the pressure cooker with the lid and lock it. Put it on high heat, then start counting the cooking time after it begins to steam. At this point you can turn down the heat, but it has to continue steaming or it's not cooking properly. In any case, follow the instructions for your own pressure cooker (depending on which model you have). Cook for 15-18 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Let stand for about 10 minutes, removing as much steam as possible. Remove the lid. The liquid should have evaporated or, if needed, drain as much a possible. Let cool for about 15-20 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, check for doneness. The beans should be soft when gently pressed and crushed between your thumb and index finger. Mash ¼ cup of the beans and set aside. Note: If necessary, add a little more water and continue cooking until they're soft enough to be mashed.
For the carrots and green beans:
Place the carrots in boiling water and cook for 5 minutes. Add the green beans and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes. Drain both the carrots and beans then transfer to an ice bath. Drain thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt.
In a pan, add the shallots. Cook until lightly golden. Add the soy chorizo (if using), separate into small mounds and cook until fragrant. Add the soaked beans. Cook until shiny, then sprinkle with salt. Mix well, then add the carrots, green beans and reserved mashed beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a platter, then drizzle with the dressing or your own favorite dressing.
Sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper.