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What aromatics do you cook beans with???

2 months ago

I was just having an all things legume conversation with a friend a few days ago. We were discussing what goes with what. She is a much more precise cook than I. I think she is much better but she’s super uncomfortable substituting or replacing ingredients. We were talking generally about eating less meat. I often cook 1 or 2 pounds of beans and freeze them in pint jars (essentially equivalent to a can of beans) to have on hand. To add to anything from salads, pasta, soups or burgers. She was saying she has a hard time making beans without a specific recipe in mind. Especially what flavors to cook them with… I tend to wing it. We ended up in a wider conversation about what we add to a pot of beans. Or lentils. I think I am going for enough flavor to make a salad but not so strong that I am limited in what final recipe I make.

Some of the things that came up -

salt pork or liquid smoke

salt and pepper

bay leaf garlic onions, carrots

celery celery seed lovage

tomato paste or dried tomatoes

cumin coriander cardamon

spice herb mixes like curry or fine herbes

dried limes or thai lime leaves

mushroom powder soy sauce

hot sauces

This morning I am making a pot of white beans. I added carrots, onions, celery seed, dried chile and pepper. I tend to add the salt at the end. I almost added turmeric. I intend to make a white chile this week and I find the color of salsa verde kind of odd.

What do you add to your beans? And do you ever wing it??

Happy Caucus day in Maine!

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