We learned how to make these earthy, toasty snacks in rural Hidalgo, Mexico. They take a little while, but are fun to do and definitely worth it. Plus, you can make them ahead and freeze. Heat them up in the oven and top with fresh salsa and cheese.
Recipe: Toasted Corn Pockets (Tlacoyos)
The Mexican cook who made this simple, crunchy-creamy salad used ayocote blanco—large, starchy white runner beans, but any white bean would work well. Serve this with grilled or braised meats, or as part of a vegetarian spread.
Recipe: White Bean Salad
A thrifty, homey, much-loved dish from Mexico, enfrijoladas are often nothing more than tortillas dipped in a sauce made from leftover beans. This one is gussied up with spicy chorizo sausage and laced with cream and onions.
Oblong and pale green, these beautiful beans are a favorite in France, where they’re often paired with lamb. In this vegan recipe, they shine on their own.
A creamy black-bean paste fills these homemade tostadas, which are then topped with spicy chicken. It’s a bit of a project, but the panuchos are totally delicious, and will impress anyone who eats them.
Here’s a fast little something we threw together for a weeknight dinner, using canned white beans. The creamy, mild beans paired very well with the bitter snap of the chicory greens, and we loved it so much we make it on weekends, too.
The large yellow limas called butter beans—available canned in your grocery store, or you can cook them from dried—are especially good in this one-pan dish. Gigantes, the big fat Greek beans, would be great too, or scarlet runner beans.
If you order a plate of barbecue in the Santa Maria Valley of central California, these fantastic, creamy little red beans will always be included. They make their own thick, rich broth as they cook.
Recipe: Pinquito Beans
Thanksgiving is the time for both turkey and freshly pressed olive oil (olio nuovo), and together with creamy white beans and a few vegetables, they make a memorable soup.
Known as rajma—king of beans—in Hindi, red kidney beans are exceptional cooked with spices until meltingly soft. If you love Indian food, you must try this.
This simple, Italian-style soup of greens and beans may well become your new weeknight staple. You can use practically any fresh greens, canned beans, parmesan or other hard cheese, and broth—chicken, beef, vegetable, even water. Think of it as a basic formula rather than a recipe.
Recipe: Chard and White Bean Soup
Black beans plus fork-tender pork shoulder, bacon, chorizo sausage, a good pour of whiskey, and feisty chipotle chiles simmer together for hours. It’s exactly what you want after a day outdoors in chilly weather.
Favas, one of the oldest varieties of bean in the world, is native to Asia and North Africa. This stunning risotto puts the velvety, deep-green beans—and their leaves—to delicious use.
Recipe: Fava Bean and Greens Risotto
These spicy, meaty beans, seasoned with Fat Tire beer and simmered in a slow cooker, practically define comfort food. Bake a batch of cornbread to go with it, or warm up a crusty loaf of bread.
Recipe: Fat Jeff’s Fat Tire Beans
Who knew that black beans and sweet potatoes went together so well? This is an unusually delicious vegetarian chili. Skip the sour cream on top, and it’s vegan, too.
A Native American heirloom from the Southwestern U.S., tepary beans are tiny—they almost look like lentils—and have a hint of sweetness that makes them seamless with fennel. Try it and expand your bean repertoire!
Recipe: Tepary Bean and Fennel Ragout
Fresh from the spring market or your own garden, tender sweet fava beans taste wonderful on fresh ricotta. An easy homemade cracker completes the dish. Serve it as an appetizer with glasses of chilled sauvignon blanc, or even as a first course on a shared platter.
Red lentils are the rushed cook’s best friend: They get tender in about 10 minutes. This Indian-style dish is one of our favorite weeknight dinners.
You can use any lentil here, from tiny black Beluga to firm green French lentils to regular brown ones. Paired with the fresh Indian cheese called paneer (or you can use tofu), it’s an excellent vegetarian dinner.
Recipe: Curried Lentils with Paneer
Firm green French lentils are best in this rib-sticking vegetarian dinner, hearty enough to please meat-eaters. That said, some juicy hot sausages on the side wouldn’t be bad either!
The whole fall farmers’ market seems to come together in this showstopper vegetarian dish. Use firm lentils, like black beluga or French green, for the prettiest results.