Anasazi Beans

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Preparation info

  • Makes about

    7 cups

    slightly soupy beans-broth
    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Seductions of Rice

By Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

Published 1998

  • About

Anansazi beans are native to the American Southwest. They’re a very attractive mottled dark red and cream, and fortunately they are becoming more available in grocery stores across the country. They lose color when they’re cooked, turning a pale pinkish color while holding on to a dark red patch around the seed hollow. If you can’t find Anasazi beans, substitute kidney beans (similar cooking time) or small red beans (slightly shorter cooking time).

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Anasazi beans, soaked overnight in two changes of water and drained
  • 3 to 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons bacon drippings or butter
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried chile pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 cups cooked Plain Wild Rice

Optional garnish

  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, coarsely torn, or ¼ cup chopped fresh chives

Method

Place the beans in a large heavy pot with the sage leaves and 8 cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil and let boil vigorously, uncovered, for about 5 minutes. Skim off and discard any foam that rises to the surface. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 1 to 1½ hours (depending on the freshness of the beans), or until the beans are very tender.

Stir in the salt and cook for another 5 minutes. (The beans can be prepared ahead to this point and stored in a well-sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. When ready to proceed, place the beans in a large pot and reheat gently.)

Meanwhile, heat the drippings or butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and fry until well softened, about 12 minutes. Add the chile flakes and cider vinegar, stir well, and add to the beans.

Cook the beans for another minute, then serve hot, over the wild rice, topped with the optional herbs if you wish. The strong green of the herbs is beautiful against the pink of the cooked beans.