“My husband and I love beans and eat them year-round,” says Molly Mitchell, chef/co-owner of Rose’s Fine Food in Detroit. “They are packed with nutrition and really make you feel good.” She suggests finding a good source for beans and buying them dry, not canned. One good source is Hampshire Farms in the Eastern Market on Saturdays, she says. “The extra bit of effort of soaking them really makes a difference,” she adds. “I brine them overnight in salty water so they are deeply seasoned.”
Warm Bean Salad with Cucumber, Avocado, and Dill (Serves 2)
Ingredients for the salad
1 large cucumber, chopped in 1-inch chunks
1 avocado, sliced into 1-inch pieces
½ bunch dill, chopped
¼ cup French feta, crumbled
Mix cucumber, avocado, dill, and feta. Squeeze lemon over top.
Ingredients for the beans
2 cups dried beans (northern, mayocoba, or pinto)
½ onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Splash of apple cider vinegar
Pepper to taste
Soak beans in heavily salted water overnight. Drain and cook in fresh water until tender, about 1 hour.
Sauté onion and garlic slowly in a pan with a healthy pinch of salt until tender but not brown for about 20 minutes. Stir in cooked beans and add splash of vinegar. Taste for seasoning and adjust.
Toast some thick slices of crusty bread and rub a fresh garlic clove on the edges. Spoon a good amount of beans into a shallow bowl, top with the salad, and scoop up with the bread.