Simmer

Basic Boiled Black Beans

October 26, 2021
0 Stars
Photo by Reprinted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger.
Author Notes

It doesn’t get any simpler than putting a bunch of beans (maybe soaked, maybe not) in a pot, covering them with a good deal of water, and turning on the heat. You can add flavors in the form of spices or aromatics (onions, carrots, herbs). You can putter about, dipping in your spoon as you go. In the end, beans, water, heat, and some salt are all you need to make a delicious meal. Everything that goes with it is a matter of what you have on hand and how you want to dress up something that is already pretty great on its own.

Here's how you can make a week's worth of black beans without any boredom. Cook ’em once; eat ’em five times. Stretch one big pot of black beans into a workweek’s worth of distinct meals. —abraberens

Test Kitchen Notes

Reprinted from Grist: A Practical Guide to Cooking Grains, Beans, Seeds, and Legumes by Abra Berens with permission from Chronicle Books, 2021. Photographs © EE Berger. —The Editors

  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • makes About 6 cups
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup (60 milliliters) neutral oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
  • 2 cups (400 grams) dried black beans, soaked or not, depending on your state of mind
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add paprika, cumin, and chili flakes, if using, and fry to bloom for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the beans and toss to coat, then cover with cold water by 2 inches (5 centimeters), bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook until tender, adding more water if needed.
  2. When the beans are tender, add the salt and let the beans cool in the cooking liquid for at least 10 minutes (like soup, they get better the longer they sit—ideally, overnight). (You can reserve the cooking liquid for various uses, if you like.)

See what other Food52ers are saying.

Abra Berens is a chef, author, and former vegetable farmer. She started cooking at Zingerman's Deli, trained at Ballymaloe in Cork, Ireland. Find her at Granor Farm in Three Oaks, MI or Farm Club in Traverse City, MI. Her first cookbook, Ruffage: a practical guide to vegetables is out now. Her second book, Grist: a practical guide to grains and legumes is due Fall 2021.

0 Reviews