Everyday Food Blog

Everyday Food loves Rancho Gordo Beans

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Rancho Gordo is a fantastic outfit out of Northern California that specializes in growing and harvesting heirloom beans. Click through their online catalog and you'll find funky and colorful types like the Sangre de Toro (looks like a miniature kidney bean), Yellow Eye (like a black-eyed pea, but in vivid yellow), and the gorgeous mottled purple-red Scarlet Runner. Sunday family dinner at my house is usually some version of rice and beans, and I've found these delicious beans need almost no pre-soaking time, since their time from harvest to retail is so short.

Any Rancho Gordo fans out there? What's your favorite bean, and how do you like to cook it?


Comments (18)

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    I LOVE Rancho Gordo beans! We cooked up the Ayocote Morados last week and just ate a big bowl of beans for dinner, they were great. I also like the Santa Maria Pinquitos - the recipe for them in the Heirloom Beans cookbook is delicious. Also love the yellow eye beans in a bean salad with bacon, bell peppers and herbs.

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    My husband made a pork and hominy slow cooker dish with Rancho Gordo hominy. It was delicious. The hominy gave it a really good corn flavor.

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    I am just crazy about Rancho Gordo beans: the varieties are interesting and their quality is always outstanding. Our family has vegans, vegetarians, and people with allergies, so it is sometimes difficult to find something to serve for dinner that everyone can eat. Rancho Gordo beans to the rescue! Beans are an excellent source of protein, and Rancho Gordo's selection of beans allows for creativity. Our family holiday meal tradition is to use Rancho Gordo's Christmas Limas because their big, bold texture and flavor satisfy even the most dedicated carnivores in our clan.

    Thanks to Everyday Food for recognizing my favorite food company!

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    I've tried quite a few of their beans, and we have totally loved all of them. I don't think it matters which of their beans that you try, as there is a huge difference between Rancho Gordo beans and store bought. Rancho Gordo beans are so fresh, the taste is just amazing.

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    I just did a demo at Rancho Gordo this winter- the beans are excellent- I live in Tuscany and Florentines are called bean eaters- but he also has more-- I bought my sister the popcorn- she is never going back to regular.
    He also carries some of the rare cactus fruit from Mexico working with a small coopertive and the oregano more! he cares about every little detail!

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    I recently discovered Rancho Gordo heirloom beans and there is no comparison to the commercially grown beans in the grocery stores. These beans have exceptional taste and texture. In fact, most of them are best enjoyed when served simply in their own pot liquor with a few spices added. I have also used them in soups, salads, Mexican favorites and sauteed with vegetables or greens. They are shipped quickly, nicely packaged and are very clean. In addition, we are flexitarians & only eat meat 1-2 times per week, so this is our "go to" for protein (we like to limit our soy consumption. Thanks to Everyday Food for getting the word out about these great products and a great company! (And their cookbook is fantastic).

  • avatar

    I fell for Rancho Gordo's heirloom beans after spending a lifetime of not being excited about beans, in general. After years of dull, boring, bland tasting beans, more like cardboard than real vegetables, finding that there's a whole wonderful world of legumes, each with their own texture, their own flavour, their own character, not needing to be heavily spiced, sweetened, sauced, or otherwise altered in an attempt to produce something that tastes good. Faves? So far, the Eye of Goat, Yellow Eye, Runner Cannellini, Midnight black beans, Rio Zapes, Yellow Indian Woman and Scarlet Runners have topped my list, but I continue to explore the entire range with gusto. They've all been fantastic!

    Here are some of my favorite recipes so far:

    Runner Cannellinis with Black Truffle Oil
    Smoky Yellow Eye Beans
    Seared Scallops with Scarlet Runner Beans
    Cioppino Bianco

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    Christmas limas in a beet & quinoa salad or soup; ojo de cabra (goat's eye) in about anything, especially borracho & cheese burritos or oozing cheese & bean empanadas...makes little difference, it's all yummy! You can't go wrong with Rancho Gordo beans, aromatic veggies, the bean liquor, maybe some lime or lemon juice...

  • avatar

    I love Rancho Gordo, and just visited them last weekend after meeting Steve Sando through a friend. Their beans are the best, so fresh that when soaking no unmentionable scummy material forms on the water. I use them in my Indian recipes, they're amazing!

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    I have been eating Rancho Gordo beans for a couple of years now. I like the pinto beans to make a salad with. And the garbanzos make a great hummus. The Good Mother Stallard is a great bean for a bowl of beans and rice. And his quinoa I use to make tabbouleh with instead of bulgar.

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    Just wondering are these the beans that are sold at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco?

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    Believe that Steve does sell his beans, etc. there (says she who lives in Northern Maine and has never been anywhere near California).

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    Rancho Gordo is awesome. Good Mother Stallards are amazing, and definitely try the flageolets. They are really all amazingly good. I usually cook them with a little garlic or onion, some bay leaves and salt. Then, I use them in everything from bean salads to pastas and often as a side dish to meats. The flageolets, for example are a great complement to lamb shanks. One other note, I always try to get at least one of the XOXOC project beans. They are extremely interesting and every one I've had has been delicious. Also, if you order, don't be too conservative. The ones you fall in love with often sell out next time you look, and the shipping is a flat rate. You'll eat them faster than you think! Hopefully I'm not jinxing my next order -- leave some for me!

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    Yes, these beans are sold at the Ferry Building Farmers Market in SF, as well as at Bi-Rite Market at 18th and Dolores in the Mission.

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    I bought the Jacob's Cattle beans at the Ferry Building Farmers Market on the weekend.
    I am going to buy 3 sampler packs from the website to give out as holiday gifts. The beans are so delicious and no scum or flatulence.

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    I have been eating Rancho Gordo beans for about three years and love almost all of them. I've handed out three of their cookbooks to friends.

    My favorite bean in general is one or another variation of borlotti, usually in a minestrone or "big soup" but there really isn't anything I've tried that I didn't enjoy.

    The only trauma so far is that they've not been able to keep their contact with their former Peruvian supplier of Giant Limas. :(

    Once you've had fresh dried beans, you'll never go back. I tried another supplier of "gourmet" fresh dry beans last year when something at Rancho was out of stock and they were awful in every way. Never again!

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    Rancho Gordo's beans are by far THE BEST discovery ever!

  • avatar

    Rancho Gordo beans are fantastic, and it can be so easy to make delicious food with them. One of my favorite dishes, that I have made again and again, is a version of coconut rice and beans. It's summery and satisfying, and it was recently featured in the Rancho Gordo Newsletter this month!

    The recipe is here. Happy cooking!

    http://thedragonfruit.wordpress.com/2011/06/09/hot-summer-cool-eats-cooking-with-dried-legumes-ii-tik-marij/

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