Recipes

How to Cook Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

Featured

There is not one single method of cooking beans. At its most basic, you want to simmer the pot until the beans are soft. Soaking can speed up the process and vegetables or stock will make them more flavorful. It's really that simple. There's all kinds of fine tuning and variables, but basically, this is it. Normally on a bean cooking day (which frankly is everyday at Rancho Gordo), I put the beans to soak in the morning, after rinsing in lots of cool water and checking for small debris. I cover the beans by about an inch or so...

Read more →


Alubia Blanca, Watercress, and Herb Salad

Salads Vegetarian

Alubia Blanca, Watercress, and Herb Salad

In her seminal book, The Mexican Gourmet, author Maria Dolores Torres Yzabal includes a salad with just half cilantro and half watercress. Steve was intrigued by this and started making it at home. He came to love the slight bitterness of the watercress, but he wanted something that could stand on its own so he came up with this version, which is basically a third each of watercress, parsley, and cilantro, with some beans tossed in for a little indulgence. It makes the salad more substantial, too. Watercress is a somewhat neglected green these days but try and add it to...

Read more →


Yellow Eye and Fennel Casserole

Sides Vegetarian

Yellow Eye and Fennel Casserole

We appreciate fennel most when it's raw and thinly sliced or slowly braised and caramelized. It's an amazing vegetable and our own Creative Director here at Rancho Gordo, Rachel Padilla, took a fine but somewhat stodgy recipe that Steve blogged about and made it her own. This is Rachel's new overhauled version and we all thought it was superior when we had it for lunch in our office here at Rancho Gordo. You could substitute any medium or light bean for the Yellow Eyes but they're so delicious, we would use them without a doubt. 2 large fennel bulbs, trimmed ​...

Read more →


Pasta with Cicerchia and Mushrooms

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Pasta with Cicerchia and Mushrooms

In the Rancho Gordo library, we have a well-used copy of the book Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy (Rodale, 2014) by Judith Barrett. It includes a handful of recipes that feature cicerchia, Italy's unique, tooth-shaped legume.  Barrett recommends fresh oyster mushrooms as a substitute for the cardoncelli mushrooms that are traditionally found in this dish from Puglia, but you can use any fresh mushrooms you can get your hands on. We loved it with shiitakes. Adjust the pasta quantity to your preference. We liked it more bean-forward but the original recipe called for a full pound of pasta. 1/2...

Read more →


Lentil and Carrot Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Salads Vegetarian

Lentil and Carrot Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette

Lentils cook very quickly so you don’t have to make a huge batch and then figure out what to do with them. Unsoaked, they cook in about 20 minutes! That’s hard to beat. Obviously, they thrive in hot dishes like soups and stews, but a favorite winter salad has been a very French salad of green lentils, grated carrots, and a strong Dijon mustard vinaigrette. The carrots are meaty and substantial, the lentils creamy and indulgent, and the vinaigrette is rich and assertive. Best of all, there’s no lettuce to wash! 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ yellow onion, finely chopped 1...

Read more →


Polenta with Cranberry Beans and Tomato Sauce

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Polenta with Cranberry Beans and Tomato Sauce

In the Rancho Gordo library, we have a well-used copy of the book Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy (Rodale, 2014) by Judith Barrett, and this recipe is inspired by the book. When we tested it in the Rancho Gordo kitchen, it was a big hit. As we licked our bowls clean, we all agreed that it was a polenta dish with beans, not a bean dish with polenta, if that makes sense. Our favorite polenta comes from Anson Mills.  1/4 cup olive oil 1 large or 2 small red onions, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped 2 cups canned...

Read more →


How to Cook Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

How to Cook Beans in the Rancho Gordo Manner

There is not one single method of cooking beans. At its most basic, you want to simmer the pot until the beans are soft. Soaking can speed up the process and vegetables or stock will make them more flavorful. It's really that simple. There's all kinds of fine tuning and variables, but basically, this is it. Normally on a bean cooking day (which frankly is everyday at Rancho Gordo), I put the beans to soak in the morning, after rinsing in lots of cool water and checking for small debris. I cover the beans by about an inch or so of...

Read more →


Classic Pasta e Fagioli

Main Dishes

Classic Pasta e Fagioli

 

Read more →


Fish & Shrimp Stew with Alubia Blanca

Main Dishes Soups

Fish & Shrimp Stew with Alubia Blanca

The inspiration for this came from the book on Tuscan coastal cooking, Acquacotta, by Emiko Davies (Hardie Grant, 2017). The original recipe calls for clams and no fish, but I had fresh prawns and halibut on hand. I was also cooking beans and well, you know, beans. Any of our white beans will work, except maybe Marcellas. They would be fine but I suspect they'd be too delicate and their charm would be lost, or worse, they'd just fall apart. The stew can be made ahead a day or two up to the point of adding the fish and prawns....

Read more →


Chana Masala

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Chana Masala

This recipe comes from our friend who writes the blog My Annoying Opinions. We asked him to create a recipe for our newest garbanzo bean and he outdid himself.  Serves 4 to 6 2 cups Rancho Gordo Desi Chana, or Garbanzo rinsed and soaked overnight (or 8 hours) 1 tez patta (dried Indian bay/cassia leaf ), optional 2 teaspoons neutral oil (grapeseed or similar) 1 large red onion, sliced 1 teaspoon fresh garlic paste 1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste The following ground together into a coarse powder: ½ teaspoon haldi (turmeric powder), 2 to 3 dried Kashmiri chillies, 1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, 1½...

Read more →


Garbanzo Salad with Shaved Red Onions and Fennel

Salads

Garbanzo Salad with Shaved Red Onions and Fennel

This is the kind of salad that is often described as a good side dish for roasted meat or chicken but we think it's an excellent dinner in itself. The crunch of the vegetables and the texture of the garbanzos shouldn't be underestimated. Dress and season the salad according to your taste. Start with the olive oil and then add the pineapple vinegar as desired. Steve likes it snappy, to match his personality, but you might be more mellow and want to use less. That's the magic of cooking! Serves 2 1 fennel bulb 1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Garbanzos, drained ½ red onion,...

Read more →


Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chicken, and Feta

Main Dishes Salads

Lentil Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Chicken, and Feta

This recipe is adapted from Salad of the Day: 365 Recipes for Every Day of the Year by Georgeanne Brennan. Georgeanne says: "Earthy, quick-to-cook lentils make a bed for this main-dish salad. For a vegetarian option, substitute toasted walnuts for the chicken." Serves 4 1 cup dried Rancho Gordo French-Style Green Lentils, or Black Caviar Lentils Sea salt 7 drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, minced, plus 3 tablespoons oil reserved 1 clove garlic, minced 4 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar ¼ pound feta cheese, crumbled or cubed, a tablespoon set aside for garnish 1½ cups slivered,...

Read more →


Baked Cassoulet Beans with Summer Squash & Corn

Main Dishes Vegetarian

Baked Cassoulet Beans with Summer Squash & Corn

Nothing beats pulling a bubbling cassoulet out of the oven. Our Cassoulet beans are West Coast–grown from classic French Tarbais seed stock, and have been bred for this slow-baked dish. Something magical happens when you bake these beans. The texture changes and they become firm, yet creamy. It's hard to explain, but we suggest you give it a try. We tried to take advantage of the summer bounty for a dish that comes together in under an hour if you have cooked beans on hand. 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, plus more for topping 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (crusty...

Read more →