June 28, 2008

From Renewing America's Food Traditions by Deborah Madison and Gary Paul Nabhan (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Deborah Madison and Gary Paul Nabhan. All rights reserved.

The following recipe for bean salad comes from the Far Western Tavern near Santa Maria, via the California Farm Bureau Federation.

  • 1/2 pound Santa Maria pinquito beans
  • 2 green scallions
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 bell pepper or Fresno jalapeño pepper
  • 1/3 cup Mission olive oil
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1-1/2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oven-roasted Sonoran garlic

1. Soak the pinquito beans in a bowl overnight. Drain the water, and place the beans in a cooking pot with fresh water. Boil uncovered for 1-1/2 hours or until tender but firm. Meanwhile, grill the scallions, onion, and pepper until slightly caramelized or charred on the outside, then dice. (Choose either a jalapeño or a bell pepper, depending on your tolerance for heat.)

2. Drain the beans and place them in a large glass mixing bowl, and combine with olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, diced vegetables, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and roasted garlic. Chill for several hours, then toss with spoons just prior to serving.