A Guide to Our Favorite Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans
Pinto: Very soft, creamy, and best known for its use in refried beans. It is essential in Norteno cooking, the cuisine of Northern Mexico. “Frijoles a la Charra” combines pinto beans with chiles for heat and bacon for depth, slowly simmered for several hours until the beans nearly fall apart.
Christmas Lima: Rich chestnut-like texture and nutty flavor distinguish this lima bean from all others. They stand up to big sauces like chile and curry but can also be enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil and a few grates of aged cheese for a simple weeknight dinner. Recipe for Weeknight Lima Bean Toasts.
Domingo Rojo: The best bean for the New Orleans classic “Red Beans and Rice”. It creates a very thick broth when cooked, which can be flavored simply or extravagantly and coats every grain of rice or noodle. Also great for chilis and three-bean salads.
“Marcella” Cannellini: Named after the famed Italian-American cookbook author and chef Marcella Hazan, the “Marcella” Cannellini bean is a thick skinned heirloom variety well suited for many Italian recipes. We love it in Marcella’s own recipe for Pasta e Fagioli as well as creamy bean dips and casseroles.
King City Pink: A bean for Steinbeck lovers! Thin skinned with a dense, yet creamy interior. Closer to a buckeye than a Pinquito, they make a rich bean broth and so are especially well suited to “pot beans.” Or, try a dressed up version of Baked Beans and serve over toast for an American classic.
“Midnight” Black: A classic, versatile, essential black turtle bean. Holds it shape through long cooking times with a consistently soft and creamy interior. Great for salads, chili, refried beans, dips, soups, pot beans, and Brazilian Feijoada.
“Super Lucky” Black Eyed Peas: All good Southerners know the secret to a prosperous New Year is to eat old fashioned Black Eyed Peas on New Year’s Day. Traditionalists will insist on a ham hock, but our vegan New Years Black Eyed Peas are no less lucky.
- Marguerite Jodry