RECIPE: Brothy Pinto Beans

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Though significantly faster to open a can of beans, this homemade version made from the dried variety offers better flavor, more control over the type of beans used, oil, amount of salt, and flavoring options. And though they do take time to prepare, most of it is hands-off soaking and simmering so the work is very minimal. I love the rich broth that forms as the beans cook. These beans can stand alone as a meal topped with rice, scallions, cheese, and maybe a bit of hot sauce. They also make a terrific side to a main course such as the Breakfast Tacos with Olive Oil Fried Eggs, Potato and Chorizo Hash. Makes: 9 cups, including broth

Ingredients

1 pound dried pinto beans

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons sea salt

3 to 4 herbs sprigs of choice, such as oregano, marjoram, or thyme, if desired 

Directions

  1. Wash the beans by placing the dried beans in a fine-mesh strainer and running them under cold water. Transfer the beans to a large pot and cover with 12 cups cold water. Loosely cover the bowl and let stand at room temperature until the beans are fully reconstituted but still firm, about 12 hours or overnight. 
  2. Transfer the pot to the stove top and stir in the olive oil, salt, and herbs (if using). Bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat to medium and simmer until the beans are very tender and creamy and the cooking liquid thickens slightly to a broth-like consistency, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Serve immediately or use within a week.
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Vanessa Seder
Vanessa Seder
Vanessa Seder has worked in the food industry for close to 20 years as a recipe developer, food stylist, chef instructor, and author. Her cookbooks include: Eat Cool, (which received positive reviews from the New York Times and elsewhere) and the award-winning Secret Sauces. A graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education, Vanessa has developed recipes for Real Simple, All You, Health, Cooking Light, Hannaford’s Fresh, Ladies Home Journal—where she previously served as an associate food editor, and Maine The Way, among others. She lives with her family in Portland, Maine. She can be found online at vanessaseder.com and Instagram @vseder.

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