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
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
- 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.
- 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.