All About Beans

This is a pot of easy-to-make baked beans.   The recipe is from garden blogger and author Margaret Roach.  She was recently on an episode of “The Martha Stewart Show” to celebrate the publication of her latest book and she cooked these with Martha.  Given that they were vegetarian, I decided to make some.  I think it is a good idea to try and eat a meatless meal as often as you can.  I felt good that everything in the pot was fresh.  I read the side of a can of baked beans in the supermarket and there were some ingredients that I could not pronounce.  How can they be good for you?  With this recipe, you know you are getting quality food.  This recipe makes a lot of baked beans so you can freeze what is left over and eat them at a later time.  Even though this recipe is vegetarian, if you are a meat eater, try substituting thick-cut bacon for the onions.  This recipe serves six.  However, I doubled the recipe to ensure I had a lot of baked beans left over to freeze.  Join me now as I make a pot of vegetarian baked beans:  

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried cranberry, navy or yellow eye beans
  • 1/4 cup molasses, preferably organic
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup grainy mustard
  • 6 fresh, peeled, or canned whole plum tomatoes (a large 35-ounce can holds 12 tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • Boiling water
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Before we begin cooking, let’s talk about the beans I used, again thanks to Margaret Roach.  In her TV segment, she mentioned a place to buy great beans.  The beans come from Rancho Gordo Specialty Foods in Napa, California.  What makes these beans special is that they are grown from heirloom seeds.  I used cranberry beans in the baked beans that I cooked.  Visit Rancho Gordo at their website, http://www.ranchogordo.com.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place beans in a large bowl and add enough water to cover; let soak overnight.

Drain and place into a pot; add enough water to cover and simmer over medium-high heat for 30 minutes. 

Drain and transfer to a large bowl; stir in molasses, maple syrup, mustard, and tomatoes.  Set aside.

Coat the bottom of a Dutch oven or a 9-by-13-inch high-sided baking dish with olive oil.  Add onions and top with bean mixture.  Add enough boiling water to cover bean mixture by 1 inch.  Cover Dutch oven with lid or baking dish with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil.  Transfer to oven and bake until beans are softened, about 1 1/2 hours, checking water level and adding more as necessary.

Uncover beans and continue baking until thick and syrupy, about 45 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper and serve.

These baked beans taste great.  They can be a great winter comfort food, but I also like baked beans during the summer with a grilled hamburger or hot dog.  Is there anything more American than that?  I have to tell you that you will not miss the bacon if you make the vegetarian version.  The beans I used were also much better than those found in canned baked beans.  Bigger, plumper, a little more substantial when you chew them…Rancho Gordo beans are a real find.  Thanks again to Margaret Roach for the bean find and the recipe.  You won’t be sorry you made these baked beans.  Do you have other vegetarian recipes you can share on Acorns On Glen?

6 thoughts on “All About Beans

    • Hi Kenn. Great to see you back here on Acorns On Glen. The baked beans are our new favorite. I ate them for four days straight. I get hungry just thinking of them. Never knew I was such a bean lover. Come back and visit soon.

    • Hi The Informal Matriarch. Welcome to Acorns On Glen. I thought beans were ok until I tried the Rancho Gordo beans. Order them…they are worth the wait. Come visit again soon.

  1. These beans look great! I can’t wait to try them. Amen to not being able to pronounce the ingredients on the canned beans

    • Hi FluteGirl. Amen to understanding that we eat so much crap in the food that we buy. We need to keep it fresh and from nature. It just makes sense. Come back and visit soon.

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