I love beans, dinky-doo!

I used to love to watch Space Ghost, Coast to Coast, a wacky cartoon show that featured Brak, a little alien guy who made up silly songs. One of his songs goes something like this:

Lima, lentil, soy, and pinto,
Navy, northern, and garbanzo,
Kidneys and frijoles negros,
I love beans!

I love beans, woo woo woo!
I love beans, how ’bout you?
High in fiber, low in fat.
Hey, I bet you didn’t know that!

When I eat beans I sit in my own little cloud.
Nobody comes to visit me in my little cloud.
I don’t know why. Maybe it’s ’cause I’m cuttin’ muffins. Because-

I love beans, hey hey hey!
I love beans every day!
Beans are an excellent source of protein.
I love beans, dinky-doo!

My sentiments exactly. Except for the cloud part.

Usually I make black beans, because Justin likes them, but this week I went for pinto. They’re so smooth and creamy, with just a hint of garlic and bits of tomato. My mom will probably wrinkle her nose as she reads this recipe, since she NEVER puts onions in her beans!

These are seriously good and seriously easy. Just plan ahead for soaking and simmering time.

Pinto Beans with Tomatoes and Serrano Chiles

  • 2 cups pinto beans, soaked
  • 1 small onion, halved and peeled
  • 3 garlic cloves, 1 whole, 2 minced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tomatoes, diced
  • 2 serrano chiles, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Put the beans in a pot with 2 quarts of water and boil hard for 10 minutes. Skim off any foam, then add the onion and whole garlic clove. Lower the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Add salt and continue cooking until beans are soft, about 30 minutes more. Remove the onion and garlic.

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tomatoes and their juice, chiles, cilantro, and minced garlic. Cook briskly, pressing on the tomatoes until they break up and thicken into a sauce, about 10 minutes. Add the sauce to the beans and simmer for 15 minutes more.

Makes 6 servings.

Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison.

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