Posted by: edibleplanet | February 25, 2010

Tasty beans

We seem to have a bit of an aversion to beans in New Zealand. We will do Baked beans in a can and the mixed bean salad but there it seems, many of us stop with beans. Dried beans feel like a step too far.
I used to be afraid of dried beans. I thought they would just take too long to deal with and then in the back of my mind was how important it was to cook them properly, because some had toxins.
But it turns out beans are pretty easy and starting from dried just makes the dish so much better, with more depth to the flavour. They do take a bit of prior planning but the early steps are very simple and not that time consuming. First step is just soaking so that takes all of two minutes to put the beans in bowl and cover them with water. The next night I do the cooking of them which takes between 1-2 hours but they just cook away with me checking on them periodically while I do other things, so hands on time again is not huge. Then you can also freeze them if you do a lot and you will have them on hand for whenever you want.
My favourite at the moment is the black turtle bean. They have just such a delicious flavour and they go so well with avocados and tomatoes. We made this recipe with dried black beans and then refried them – mashing them in the frypan and with homemade corn tortillas rather than the flour. It was really good. This recipe also looks great and I will probably use this next time.
There are just so many different beans and recipes to try. We have a really nice French bean dish recipe that I like to make and refried pinto beans are great in burritos.
Dried Beans are definitely worth the forward planning.

– Fiona



  1. Hi there Fiona & Karl!

    I stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say “Hi!”. From what I’ve gathered one (or both) of you are from the States? I’m originally from California and moved to NZ with my Kiwi-American husband and 2 of 3 children (the eldest is back in CA attending UCLA) August 2013, and are loving it!

    As for dried beans, seems you have it sorted, but I recommend picking up a pressure cooker (if you don’t already have one) and cooking your pre-soaked beans that way. Only takes about 15 minutes total, and they turn out divine! Saves time and fuel as well which is always a good thing. 🙂 Also, don’t salt your beans until after they are cooked as salt makes the skins hard. Season once the beans are cooked and they will soak up the flavors like little sponges! Dried beans are definitely the way to go! Infact I have a batch of homemade baked beans in the oven right now! Yummm!

    Have fun, and I will bookmark your blog for future reference.

    Warmest regards,
    Warkworth, NZ

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