Saturday, November 5, 2011

Cooking Fresh Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans and Shells in Basket
Fresh Pinto Beans With and Without Pods

Recipe by Robin

Back in September, I found some beautifully patterned beans at the Farmer’s Market in Watsonville, CA. I asked about them and some Mexican-American ladies told me that that they were fresh pinto beans. Fresh pinto season is short, and they aren’t widely available, so do try them if you’re lucky enough to find them.
They’re much more flavorful fresh than dried—and take much less time and preparation to cook. It’s the end of the season now. Bean husks are papery and yellow rather than supple purple, cream, and green of the early season. If you find them, go ahead and buy extras, as my fellow shoppers advised me to do. You can remove the outer husks and freeze them if you’re not quite ready to prepare them.

Beans, Peppers, Chili Powder, Garlic, Onion, Cumin Seeds
South of the Border Ingredients
I had a few Armenian bell peppers on hand--a flavorful sweet pepper, and some hotter chilis as well, so added both, along with onion and garlic. Because I was making Mexican-style beans to go with tortillas and pico de gallo salsa, I added cumin and chili powder. I’ve also cooked the pinto beans in plain salted water for 45 minutes or so, to be added to vegetable soups and stews. Feel free to adapt this recipe to your ingredients on hand and your intended use of the beans after cooking.

You might also like to try cooking fresh pintos in a Classic Minestrone.

Plate of Cooked Pinto Beans
Fresh Pintos Ready to Eat
Fresh Pinto Beans
makes about 5 cups

3 cups fresh shelled pinto beans
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 small sweet peppers
2 small hot chili peppers
3 ½ cups water
2 tsp. instant veggie broth powder
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin seeds
2 tsp. mild chili powder

Cut sweet peppers into julienne strips. You should have about 2 cups. Mince hot chili peppers. Grind cumin seeds with mortar and pestle.

In 2 quart saucepan, sauté onion in olive oil till golden over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté till fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add sweet and hot peppers and stir to coat with oil. Sauté pepper about 2 minutes and add beans. Stir to coat with oil.

Add water, powdered veggie broth, black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Stir and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered till beans are tender to your liking, stirring every 10 minutes or so and checking to be sure liquid still covers beans. Cooking time will be about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size of the beans and how soft you want them. If you want them to get soft and mushy (for refried beans, etc.), continue cooking for up to 1 ½ hours.


1 comment:

  1. These were quite good.

    Very different from dried pinto beans. And I really like the recipe.