20 Big Ones
Let all your bean dreams come true! Or make them come true for a deserving friend. Twenty big pounds of our best heirloom beans.
Finally, a suitable gift for the Bean Freak (and we use the term with love and affection) or the Rancho Gordo fan on your holiday shopping list: 20 pounds of our best beans and nothing else! Imagine all the fine meals that can be made with all those legumes and maybe if you play your cards right, you’ll be invited to partake in the bounty. You can imagine the smiles as your recipient looks into the pantry and sees all these bags of Rancho Gordo heirloom beans smiling back, waiting for that moment of inspiration. And it’s all thanks to you! Of course, if you deserve 20 Big Ones in your life and order the box for yourself, we won't tell.
Each box contains:
Alubia Blanca (2 bags)
Classic Alubia beans are one of our more requested items. Small white European-style beans, you can use them in all kinds of cooking, from Mexican to Tuscan to even classic Yankee baked beans. My favorite thing to do with these delicate legumes is top off a piece of grilled Tuscan bread, drizzled with fruity, green olive oil, chopped sage and grated dry cheese, making an Italian “beans on toast.”
Runner beans are known to be one of the oldest cultivated crops from the Americas. These big beautiful beans are great with loads of garlic and wild mushrooms or just as part of a mixed salad. In Mexico, you find them served with a chile sauce or in a soup, but in Europe, you might see them drowned in good fruity olive oil and finished with a squeeze of lemon juice and a dusting of sea salt. Ayocote Morado are a cousin to the more famous Scarlet Runner and can be used anyplace a runner bean is called for. These beans are big and creamy but the pot liquor (or “caldo”) is thin and flavorful, almost like a boullion. They cook up tan in color, so save a few of them to remember their lovely lilac coloring when raw!
The big firm beans are not traditional black turtle beans. Ayocotes are runner beans (like the more well-known Scarlet Runners). Ayocote Negro are firm, without being starchy and have a darker, inky bean broth than other runners enjoy. They are large, bold and one of the first beans we recommend if you’re trying to sell a “steak and potatoes”-type on heirloom beans.
Christmas Limas are an intriguing variation on the traditional Lima. In Italy, you’ll find them as “Fagioli del Papa,” or “Pope’s beans.” Also known stateside as “Chestnut Lima.” A true lima bean, originally from Peru (hence Lima), this gorgeous bean has all the “meat” of limas but with a chestnut flavor. They’re big and bold and can stand up to a chile sauce or curry or simply be enjoyed with a drizzle of olive oil and a few grates of dry goat cheese. One of my most successful inventions was cooked Christmas Limas in a gorgonzola sauce. I still swoon a little when I think about this dish! If you grew up thinking you hated limas, you owe it to yourself to give this one a try.
Cranberry beans don’t taste like cranberries, they only look like cranberries. And even then, I don’t quite see it. Originally from Colombia, these beans have been bred around the world and have become Madeira, Borlotti, Tounges of Fire, Wren’s Egg and many more. The Cacahuate is the classic from Colombia and are perfect for any recipe calling for a “cranberry” bean. Similar to Borlotti, Cranberry beans are very thin-skinned with a velvety texture, making them ideal for soups, stews and even refried beans. A favorite staff meal here at Rancho Gordo is a bowl of cranberry beans with poached chicken pieces, drizzled with your best fruity olive oil. Simple and sublime!
A small, mild yet dense, heirloom bean, begging to be put to work as red beans and rice, chili con carne or a wonderful ingredient in your summer salad. The bean is classic, and one of the reasons aficionados insist on good red beans for their red beans and rice is the bean broth. A good red bean will produce a sauce that coats ever grain of rice and Domingo Rojo is that bean!
Not a true “new world” bean but we love them so much that we make this one of our California crops. Obviously they’re classic for hummus and as a key ingredient in a green salad, but they’re great in soups, too.
Large White Lima
A lot of us grew up hating lima beans. A lot of us have changed our minds about a lot of things since being six years old! Lima are rich and have a particular vegetable taste that other beans don’t have. A whole bowl of them might be a little rich but one of the best restaurants here in Napa serves them swimming in their best olive oil and heavily dusted with good Parmesan cheese. Works for me! Sometimes called “butter beans,” (actually only baby limas are considered butter beans to most southerners), they don’t have a buttery flavor, but adding butter can be a fine idea. Use them on their own or as an ingredient in soups or stews, pureed as a dip or perhaps in a bowl of Southern style succotash, mixing lima beans with some great summer vegetables.
A classic bean from Peru, the Mayocoba is also known as Canario or Peruano. It’s a small but meaty thin-skinned bean that will take on all the flavors you can throw at it but still hold its shape. Great as a substitute for Cannellini or Great Northern beans but unique in its own right.
Midnight Black (2 bags)
Midnight is a true black turtle bean with a rich, traditional black bean flavor and texture that is more in the kidney family. Use them in any recipe calling for black or turtle beans or just enjoy them on their own. Black bean soup with a dollop of sour cream is one of life's better pleasures.
The poor pinto doesn’t get the respect it deserves. With all of its glamorous cousins hanging around, it’s hard to grab a little of the spotlight, until someone wisely cooks them up. If you’ve been served supermarket pintos all your life, you are in for a pleasant surprise.
New hand-harvested crop straight from Europe into your pantry. Giant, fat, white runner beans that are creamier and more luxurious than Greek and Spanish gigandes and a little denser than traditional Italian coronas. These oddly grand beans can be cooked for salads or tossing with wild mushrooms, or you can push things even further and enjoy a superior creamy bean that needs only a few shavings of Parmesan and a drizzle of your best olive oil. Naturally they’d be great in soups but don’t forget them in a chile sauce. A true alternative to meat. Royal Corona beans can replace any white bean but be prepared to be astounded by how big they are when cooked. Perfect for salads, soups, cassoulet, and you can even puree them for a unique filling for ravioli and other stuffed pastas. Fully cooked, they can be a little starchy but you can also keep cooking until they reach the creamy point.
Sangre de Toro
Here is a classic red bean from the heart of Mexico. Whether it's New Orleans red beans and rice, chili or just a bowl of beans, we think Sangre de Toro (or "Bull's Blood") is a tremendous bean. Dense and meaty, Sangre de Toro has a good pot liquor and can be used whenever red beans are called for.
Santa Maria Pinquito
A very small, chili-type bean that is loaded with a delicious pot liquor and meaty texture; a perfect match for any barbecue, chili or even salad. These beans don’t need doctoring up! Just some onions, garlic, a little fat and your pot of beans is ready for summer, and beyond.
A really lovely cousin to the Anasazi bean, Vaquero have intriguing black and white markings, not unlike an appaloosa horse might don. The flavor is somewhat like the Anasazi but it’s a little lighter. The real fun is the inky, black pot liquor. It looks cool and tastes great. Vaqueros are what we suggest when customers are looking for Anasazi beans (which we don’t grow). They are light and just slightly potato-like but they keep their shape and would be one of our first choices for a chili bean. We also enjoy them as a classic charro bean, cooked simply and then finished with bacon, tomatoes and maybe a little stale beer.
Can a bean be romantic? We think so! Teparies are indigenous to North America and were developed by Native Americans to be drought-tolerant. Higher in protein and fiber than other beans (which are already super foods), what more can you ask for in food? Flavor and texture? You got it! The small beans plump up a bit but keep a meaty, dense texture. Can you tell we're smitten?
Yellow Eye (2 bags)
Unlike Navy beans, which have a slightly gummy, baby food texture, Yellow Eyes are dense, creamy and delicious. You can have them on their own or use them with a smoked ham hock; they’re also excellent for simple vegetarian soups.
We can send a gift card if you like and all orders will include a description sheet.