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Preparing Dried Black Beans

Dried black beans are a little insurance policy that the Muddy Boots Farmers stash away at the end of one season, knowing that they may come in handy at the beginning of the next season if the weather isn’t cooperating.  But this year they are pairing them in the share with a Chipotle Pepper (smoked, dried jalapeno) and scallions.  Sounds like the perfect set-up for a meatless rice and beans dinner!

Even though these beans were harvested last fall, they will still be very tender and creamy.  They will likely not need to cook as long as dried black beans you get in the grocery store.  While many recipes for dried beans call for soaking them overnight, I find that is not necessary with these beautiful fresh little guys.

Here is my “go to” recipe for preparing black beans.  It is from Martha Rose Shulman who writes Recipes for Health for the New York Times.  For a little smoky heat, throw in a piece of the chipotle – these are powerful little peppers, so unless you like really HOT, save the rest of the chipotle for another dish.

Here is a tip to keep the beans black when they are cooking:  Add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the water you cook the beans in.  It will keep them from turning purple.

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