Perfect Black Beans

I'm usually fine using beans out of a can. But every now and then, I get the urge to actually use the dried kind. It does take much longer, and is sometimes disappointing, but this recipe makes the wait worth it. With a little advanced planning, it's actually very easy and the consistency and flavor are far superior to anything you can do with canned beans.

We had them with fajitas, which were, umm, kind of disappointing. We undercooked Jon's flank steak so it was a bit chewy, and I decided I'm not a fan of "chicken" flavored seitan. Oh well, atleast the beans and the salsas were yummy.

Black Beans
Serves 4-6

1 cup dried black beans
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 serrano pepper, finely diced
1 tsp olive oil
salt to taste

Soak beans over night at room temperature. Drain and rinse beans. Heat olive oil in a 2qt saucepan over medium heat, add onion, garlic, pepper, and bay leaf, and stir until fragrant. Add drained beans and add water to cover the beans by about an inch. Bring to a simmer and cover, continue to simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours. Half way through cooking, add salt and stir. Check for consistency and seasoning at 1 hour. When beans are softened, remove lid and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes allowing excess water to evaporate.


  1. Anonymous2:07 PM PDT

    got any recipes for lentil or mung beans?

  2. I've never really cooked with mung beans, but I throw lentils into lots of salads. I especially like beluga lentils - simmered for about 20 minutes with a bay leaf or some herbs de provence.