This summer, back in July, I submitted a recipe to Marx Foods that used some petite golden lentils they’d sent me to test-drive for a friendly blogger contest and well, I won! As my reward, the very kind proprietors of Marx Foods sent me 7 large containers of heirloom beans, in my opinion “exotic” beans, six of which I have never even cooked with before. I was in Greece at the time and my husband was the one who received the package … needless to say I was MUCH more excited to hear what I’d won than he was … he just called me in Greece to say, “Some beans came in the mail. Do you know anything about them?”
There were Appaloosa Beans, Swedish Brown Beans, Cranberry Beans, Black Calypso Beans, Anasazi Beans, European Soldier Beans and Stueben Yellow Eye Beans. A rainbow of edible morsels that nature handpainted in such beautiful detail … just look at them:
Had I not entered my recipe and had not Marx Foods been so generous so as to reward my win with these heirloom beans, I don’t think I ever would have actually tried many of these varieties. So a big “Thank You” to Marx Foods for opening my eyes to these little culinary wonders!
I’ve done much with these bean beauties over the last few months from bean soups, to stews and a couple of different bean dips of which the following is hands down my favorite. It’s a simple dip to make and even easier to snack on. Packed with protein and made with three different beans (Appaloosa, Swedish Brown Beans and Black Calypso Beans) this dip also packs a punch because of the smoky chipotle chile I’ve added.
Three Bean Chipotle Dip
Makes about 3 cups
1/2 cup dry Appaloosa Beans
1/2 cup dry Swedish Brown Beans
1/2 cup dry Black Calypso Beans
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic
Handful of parsley
1 chipotle chile
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
Salt to taste
Rinse beans then place in a pot and cover with at least two inches of water. Soak at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain beans and add new water to the pot to cover the beans. Place the pot over high heat and bring water to a boil; add the bay leaf and some salt and simmer the beans until extremely tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
With a slotted spoon remove most of the beans to the bowl of a food processor, leaving about 1/4 to 1/5 of the whole beans aside. Add the garlic, parsley and chipotle chile to the food processor. Cover the bowl and begin processing the beans, streaming in the olive oil as you go until the beans reach a smooth consistency. Pulse in the vinegar and some salt, to taste. Remove the pureed beans to a bowl, stir in the remaining whole beans, adjust seasonings, cover and refrigerate at least one hour. Serve with tortilla chips, pita chips or crackers.