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 →


Roasted Pepper and Royal Corona Salad

Salads Vegetarian

Roasted Pepper and Royal Corona Salad

Lately, I've been indulging in jars of roasted red peppers from Trader Joe's. But I do roast fresh poblano chiles, often. If I have a couple, I will roast them over the gas flame on my stovetop, turning, until blistered all over. If I have more than a couple, I dry-roast them on a very hot comal (a cast-iron skillet would work too). I put them in a large bowl and cover the bowl with a plate to steam for about 15 minutes, then I remove the charred skins with my fingers or scrape the skins off with a serrated...

Read more →


Marcella Beans and Cauliflower in a Lemon Caper Sauce

Main Dishes

Marcella Beans and Cauliflower in a Lemon Caper Sauce

New York Times contributor Hetty McKinnon recently wrote about Cauliflower Piccata, which on the face of it sounds like a cute way to avoid veal but really, the thought of a lemon caper sauce is very welcome and her dish is great. I made it several times and then followed up with David Tanis' almost similar dish with olives and anchovies. Both cooks used Garbanzo beans. They both are worth making. Marcellas are somewhat delicate, but they are perfect with the cauliflower and the bright, happy sauce. This is inspired by both McKinnon and Tanis, plus maybe Judy Rogers and The Zuni...

Read more →


Valley Bar & Bottle Black Garbanzo Hummus

Appetizers Vegetarian

Valley Bar & Bottle Black Garbanzo Hummus

Our original plans to celebrate our 20th anniversary were thwarted by the pandemic. We had planned a major shindig with lots of guests and even a cumbia band, but of course, things just weren't meant to be. Our friends at Valley Bar and Bottle, right on the square in Sonoma, offered to host an event, much less ambitious but no less delicious, and we jumped at the chance. There were so many great dishes that night but the universal favorite was the black garbanzo hummus. You'll notice on the label of the black garbanzos that it says not to use...

Read more →


Buckeye Beans with Roasted Peppers & Pumpkin Seeds

Vegetarian

Buckeye Beans with Roasted Peppers & Pumpkin Seeds

After some noodling around in the kitchen, we came up with this dish featuring our fabulous Buckeye Beans (aka Yellow Indian Woman). Is it a stew? It's not a soup. It's just an incredible bowl of beans packed with flavor. The secret is to cook the beans simply and then top them with the pepper mixture. I'd call it a sofrito but I don't know if anyone else would. Add as little or as much of the pepper mixture as you like and if you have leftovers, scramble it with eggs. We'd serve this with lots of good corn tortillas. Roasting...

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 →


Black Caviar Lentils and Potatoes with Crème Fraîche

Appetizers Vegetarian

Black Caviar Lentils and Potatoes with Crème Fraîche

I've been following Taffy Elrod on Twitter for a while but I think I noticed her sharp, insightful messages mostly during the pandemic. As we were all trying to figure things out, she was a constant source of sanity. We were excited when Taffy agreed to help us with an e-book with recipes. This is one of the recipes she shared. You can also find it in our new cookbook, The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen, Volume 2. From Taffy: "I couldn't resist this play on caviar and potatoes, even though that's not my usual style. A little whimsy is worth...

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 →


Classic Pasta e Fagioli

Main Dishes

Classic Pasta e Fagioli

 

Read more →