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From Steve:

"All sorts of spring celebrations are here, and this box is one of them. We've got a booklet full of recipes and seasonal chitchat you'll enjoy. Our beans pair perfectly with spring dishes – I won't harp on Good Mother Stallard, but you've got another pound. What excites me most are the Green Baby Limas...a wonderful gateway bean for those of us who have invested years in hating on the poor Lima bean."


Borlotti Lamon Bean

A treasured Cranberry/Borlotti bean hailing from the Veneto region of Italy.

When I first chatted with Marcella Hazan about her favorite Italian beans, I thought for sure she'd mention Lamon. Hailing from Veneto, her region, it's a Cranberry/Borlotti bean. She surprised me with her Tuscan pick, Sorana. We tried growing Lamon in California, with some success but our harvest wasn’t great. Luckily, we found an Italian grower we loved, and these beans are truly special. While pasta fagioli may be an obvious choice, any Borlotti recipe would shine with Lamon.


Recipe from Fagioli: The Bean Cuisine of Italy by Judith Barrett (Rancho Gordo Press, 2023).
Barrett writes: "The sweet-and-sour flavoring in this dish is typical of Venetian cooking; the beans from Lamon, which is not that far away, often appear in Venetian dishes. Serve these beans as a first course or as an accompaniment to grilled meat or chicken."
Note from the RG test kitchen: We substituted our pineapple vinegar for the red wine vinegar. Everyone enjoyed it. We would suggest serving it with thick slices of crusty bread.

¼ cup olive oil
1 whole salt-packed anchovy, rinsed in cold water, filleted, and chopped; or 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 large red onion, peeled, halved, and thinly sliced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup cold water
2 cups cooked Lamon, corona, borlotti, pinto, or cranberry beans, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
10 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, leaves only, chopped

Makes 4 servings

1In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy and mash with a wooden spoon until it dissolves into the oil. Add the onion and continue cooking, stirring, until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and water; cook about 5 minutes longer. Stir in the beans, season to taste with salt and pepper, and continue cooking until the sauce is thick, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer to a serving bowl, and garnish with chopped parsley.



Firm yet creamy, with an addictive flavor and texture. If you are used to the canned version, these will be a revelation.

You would think an ancient bean like Garbanzos would have run its course, but every time you turn around, there's another exciting thing to do. They work in so many different cuisines: Middle Eastern, Italian, Mexican, etc. There's almost no limit.


I've been going through my old books, and I came across a copy of Sophia Loren's In the Kitchen with Love. She has a pasta e fagioli recipe with garbanzos, and while it’s not untypical, it’s Sophia and that’s enough for me!

"For 6 people, soak 2 pounds of chick-peas overnight in 2 quarts of water: the little secret here is to add a pinch of baking soda which will make them much more amenable in the cooking.
In the morning, drain peas, measure soaking water, and add enough water to total 2 quarts. Boil peas in the water with a couple of pinches of salt added.
After an hour or so when peas are half cooked, ladle out a part of the water leaving only enough to cover the peas. Cook for another hour at least, then add 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a clove of chopped garlic, half a chopped onion, some minced basil leaves, a cut-up tomato, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper.
Cook for another 1/2-1 hour and finally the chick-peas will be tender enough to add to the pasta: spaghetti or bucatini broken short or cannolicchi. Now turn up the flame, adding more boiling water if necessary, so the pasta won’t stick. The soup will be very thick, but not too solid. Serve at once.
When soup is already on the table in the soup plates: a few drops of crude olive oil and one last sprinkling of pepper."


Good Mother Stallard Bean

I hate when anyone asks me to name my favorite bean. Can you name a favorite child? No! But if I had favorites, I'd certainly have to consider Good Mother Stallards.

My usual advice for Good Mother Stallard is to enjoy a simple bowl, drizzled with olive oil, and just savor the quiet. But I've mentioned that plenty of times, and perhaps it's time to move forward. I'm not quite there yet, but I acknowledge my unique outlook on this bean, so here’s a recipe to experiment with.

I can't help but rave about this bean – it's got everything! Thin skins, a meaty interior, and honestly, one of the finest bean broths around. And trust me, there are many amazing ones out there!


I've talked about this before, but I'm lucky enough to have a few generous friends who forage for wild mushrooms. I think the secret with Mushrooms is that you need to cook them very high or very low.

I wrote in the last newsletter about my obsession with slow-cooked leeks. It turns out Good Mother Stallards, mushrooms, and leeks are a happy trio. Serve over a bed of wild rice for a truly satisfying meal.

1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large leek, trimmed, sliced, and rinsed well
Salt to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Mexican Oregano
1 to 2 cups cooked Good Mother Stallard beans, or other mild heirloom beans, warmed with some broth
Cooked wild rice for serving (optional)

Makes 2 servings

In a saute pan or skillet over medium-low heat, warm 1 tablespoon each butter and oil. Add the leek and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is completely soft and caramelized, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the leeks from the pan and wipe the pan clean for cooking the mushrooms (or use a different pan).

Place the pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring, until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for another minute or so.

Place the warm beans and broth in a bowl (or bowls) and top with a scoop of cooked leeks and a scoop of mushrooms. Serve over wild rice, if desired.


Green Baby Lima Bean


Paella is a wild rabbit hole to dive into! The more you cook them, the deeper you fall in love and dream up new ways to make a scrumptious paella. A true paella has pretty strict recipe and procedure, so forgive us if we’re caught up in a creative whirl.

We were thrilled to find that Chef Katie Button of Curaté in North Carolina sometimes uses beans in her paella. A little sleuthing revealed it's not entirely unheard of – usually, it's a small white lima bean. Our new Green Baby Limas felt right at home in this dish (you can find a paella recipe in the spring mailer we included in this shipment).

The origin of Lima beans is thought to be Peru (hence the name Lima). White lima beans are popular in the Southern U.S., where the smaller varieties like these are known as "butter beans." These are brand new to us so we look forward to hearing how you used them in your kitchen.


A Rancho Gordo employee looked at this recipe and declared, "Spanish Pizza Beans!" Like the infamous Smitten Kitchen Pizza Beans recipe, this one can be adapted based on your preferences. You could even add some Spanish chorizo if you were so inclined.

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon Rancho Gordo Castillo Spanish Pimentón
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
¼ cup chopped manzanilla olives
3 cups cooked, drained Rancho Gordo Green Baby Lima Beans or Large White Lima beans
1 cup bean broth or chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 oz manchego cheese, grated
½ cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly chopped parsley to serve

Makes 2 to 4 servings

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat, warm the butter or oil. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, pimentón, tomatoes, bell peppers, and olives and cook for another 5 or so minutes.

Add the beans, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, stirring gently. Taste and adjust the seasonings, taking into account that the cheese topping will add salt.

Sprinkle the cheese and breadcrumbs on top. (You can also transfer the mixture to a baking dish and then add the toppings.)

Carefully transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is browned. Serve garnished with chopped fresh parsley and a drizzle of olive oil.


Santanero Negro Delgado Bean

Oaxaca's treasured black bean, famous for its broth.

Negro Delgado beans, Oaxaca's pride, are also called Siete Caldos (Seven Broths). Famous for their broth, they're great in salads too. With thin skin and creamy insides, they are great for salads, even though this isn’t a traditional use in Oaxaca.

After you’ve drained the beans, use the remaining broth for soups or replace some of the water when making rice. It’s delicious.


As much as I love bean broth, I don’t appreciate it in the salad. Make sure your beans are well-drained. As soon as you have the inkling, let your beans strain in some type of colander as you make the rest of the ingredients. Save the bean broth, though!

If you soak your sliced (or chopped) radishes in salt water, they take on an almost buttery flavor. Not more than a few hours, though, or they go limp.

1/2 of a small red onion, finely chopped
Pineapple or white wine vinegar, for pickling
4 cups cooked, well-drained black beans such as Santanero Negro Delgado
4 radishes, diced, soaked in salt water (see note)
2 green onions, white and light green parts only, chopped
2 cups shredded red cabbage (about ½ of a small head of cabbage)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
2 pickled jalapeños, chopped, or to taste
Lime vinaigrette, for dressing (recipe follows)
1/2 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds), toasted (optional)
Cotija cheese for garnish (optional)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

In a small bowl, combine onion and enough vinegar to just cover. Let stand for at least
15 minutes. Drain onions and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the beans, radishes, scallions, cabbage, marinated onions, jalapeños, and cilantro. Drizzle with vinaigrette, about a tablespoon at a time, tossing, until ingredients are lightly coated. Season with salt and pepper. Just before serving, garnish with pepitas and/or crumbled cheese. Salad can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or Rancho Gordo Pineapple Vinegar
Splash of jalapeño brine
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

In a jar with a lid, or in a small bowl, combine all ingredients and shake or whisk until combined.


Yellow Eye Bean


Yellow Eye Beans are a Yankee favorite, often thought of as the perfect companion to pork. The irony is not lost on us that one of the most famous modern dishes is a vegan stew from renowned chef Jeremy Fox, created when he was making noise here in Napa. However you decide to use this bean, it's easy to like and it cooks quickly. There is a slight pleasant graininess to the texture, and yet it's creamy at the same time. Definitely a bean worth experimenting with.


Here's a perfect spring meal, not just for breakfast but for any time of day. It's adapted from The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen (Rancho Gordo Press, 2017).

This is what you might call a rustic showstopper. If you’re making asparagus for dinner, make some extra to use in this dish for breakfast the next morning. It beats Corn Flakes, and it’s easy enough to poach eggs and rearrange some leftovers on a plate.

2 cups cooked Rancho Gordo Yellow Eye or white beans in their broth
4 very fresh eggs
White vinegar
1 bunch of slender asparagus, tough ends trimmed, roasted or blanched until tender
Italian Salsa Verde to finish (recipe follows)

Makes 2 to 4 servings

In a small saucepan, warm the beans over low heat.

Bring a pot of water to a simmer over medium-low heat. Add a small dash of vinegar. Crack the eggs individually into a ramekin or cup. Slowly tip each egg into the water, swirling a spoon around the egg a bit to help keep its Shape. Repeat with remaining eggs. Let cook until the whites have set around the edges, about 3 minutes. Remove eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.

Arrange a few asparagus spears in a circle on each plate. Fill each nest with about ½ cup of beans. Top with a poached egg and a generous amount of salsa verde.

2 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons drained capers, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest

On a cutting board, or using a mortar and pestle, mince or pound the garlic with about ¼ teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, combine the parsley, oil, capers, lemon juice and zest, and garlic.



Pimentón is Spanish paprika or ground chile powder. It's smoked and comes from a region in Spain called Extremadura, where the conquistadors were from. It's very romantic.

You can overdo it, so start with a small amount and work your way up. I love adding half a teaspoon to rice as it cooks.

Tossing it with olive oil and garlic for shrimp is great too. A bit of pimentón with sautéed onions in olive oil is the perfect mixture for almost all cooked beans.


There was about a cup of garbanzos and a cup of their broth sitting in the refrigerator. I was starving. Well, quite hungry. I added some frozen spinach, olive oil and a teaspoon of our Smoked Pimentón Paprika. Once heated through, a drizzle of my best olive oil and a scant squeeze of lemon. Holy cow.
There is a temptation to add even more pimentón but a teaspoon is perfect. I am not the biggest spinach fan so I only had frozen on hand. I don’t dislike it but I prefer it when other people make things with it. I plopped some of the frozen spinach into the simmering garbanzos and waited while they made friends. I reached for the Parmesan but thought, so far so good, let’s make this vegan. The lemon was the kicker.

About 1 cup cooked Rancho Gordo Garbanzo beans, plus 1 cup cooking broth
About 2 cups frozen spinach (or chopped fresh spinach)
1 teaspoon Rancho Gordo Castillo Spanish Pimentón
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Makes 1 serving

In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the Garbanzos and their broth to a simmer. Stir in the spinach and pimentón. Let cook until the spinach is heated through and the flavors have married.

Transfer to a bowl and top with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.


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