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Heirloom Beans

(post, Twilight Greenaway)

Winter is a great time to rediscover beans. Yesterday I saw Vanessa Barrington give a talk about Heirloom Beans, the book she co-authored with bean purveyor Steve Sando at new our local food co-op.

Vanessa did a terrific job of convincing her audience that beans are easy, nourishing and surprisingly versatile. And, if you cook a pot for the week, she pointed out, you always have "food" in the fridge. 

I'm already kind of a convert, and find that beans are one of those things you can soak/boil while you do other things (my favorite kind of "cooking"). One of the more useful facts: beans take longer to cook if they've been sitting on a shelf. In other words, if you buy them from a store (or farmers' market vendor) where they turns over quickly, you're less likely to end up having to boil them forever. Makes sense, but I still don't think I would have come up with this on my own. 

And -- the best part -- Vanessa made two dishes from the book, including a salad with [/books/collections/allbooks/heirloombeans/christmaslimabeansandquinoawithbeetsandavocado "quinoa, roasted beets, avocado and limas"]. Delish!