Yield: Serves 4 to 6 as a main dish
Mellowing overnight makes this dish even better. You could cook beans one evening, prepare the recipe the next, and serve it the third night. A fresh green salad of tart and mild greens, dressed simply with good wine vinegar and olive oil partners beautifully with the beans. Leftover beans make a fine salad. Serve them at room temperature, seasoned with a little more olive oil and vinegar. For deeper flavor, toast the dried Ancho chile before seeding in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Cooking the Beans:
- 1 pound dried Anasazi beans (if unavailable, use Cannellini, black bean, or pinto) , soaked either 1 hour in hot water or overnight in cold, and drained
- 1 medium onion, halved and stuck with 4 whole cloves
- 1 small carrot, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 5 large cloves garlic, halved
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup each minced celery, carrot, and onion
- 4 sprigs parsley, minced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 to 2 whole Ancho chiles, seeded, and crushed
- 1 fresh Jalapeno chile, seeded and minced (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
- One 14-ounce can tomatoes, drained and crushed (do not use crushed canned tomatoes)
- the beans
- 2 to 3 cups of their liquid
- 1/4 cup tightly packed fresh coriander leaves, minced (optional)
- 1. Drain soaked beans, cover with cold water, adding all the ingredients except salt. Simmer gently, partially covered, about 45 minutes to an hour, or until barely tender. Turn off heat, uncover, add about 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and let stand another hour, or until tender, but not mushy. Drain, reserving liquid.
- 2. In a 12-inch skillet heat oil over medium high. Add chopped vegetables and parsley, seasoning with salt and pepper. Take vegetables to golden, stir in chiles, cooking for another few minutes.
- 3. Add the garlic, oregano, and basil, cooking another second or 2. Add tomatoes to pan, crushing them with your hands.
- 4. Stir and cook at a lively bubble about 4 minutes, or until thick. Gently stir in beans, lifting out big chunks of onion and whole cloves.
- 5. Add bean liquid to moisten and simmer about 15 minutes to blend flavors. Taste for seasoning before serving and present sprinkled with the fresh coriander.