When I pulled the Dapple Grey Beans out of my box of beans in the basement, I hadn't done a search online for recipe inspiration yet. And then I did. There's next to none. So, I decided to simply cook the beans on the day I had more home-time, and figure out what to do with them later.
Not having a specific plan, I plainly cooked them. First, washing and sorting (sadly, I forgot to soak them the night before), then putting them in a deep pot, covering them with a couple inches of water. I brought them to a boil over medium heat and then lowered and let them simmer for ~1.5 hours, until soft. I took them off the heat, added ~1 teaspoons of salt and let them sit ~10-15 minutes. Finally, I drained them, reserving ~cup cooking liquid, just in case.
The cooled Dapple Greys were good. Roughly pinto bean size, but nutty with a greater depth of flavor than pintos; a meaty texture. I tried to think how to use them. They would hold up brilliantly to any recipe using canned pintos, and could take stronger flavors than many beans, without getting 'lost'. Still, I had no idea what to make with them.
I finally reached out to my brother & sister-in-law, who are bean cooking experts. They suggested pesto (since the beans could stand up to strong flavors). I never would have come up with that, which is why I consider them the bean experts!
With my brother, Andy's, and sister-in-law, Valerie's, inspiration, I ended up throwing together a watercress/pine nut pesto (since I already had the ingredients), and viola! Below is what I came up with...
Watercress Pesto with Dapple Grey Beans
- Wonderful served over rice.
- Significantly better after ~48 hours, as the flavors blend.
- The pesto is great baked on focaccia bread, too (there's roughly 1 cup pesto, so 2-3 more meals worth).
- The pesto was phenomenal, but likely would have been even better with parmesan as an ingredient...however, since I'm dairy-free for my highly-sensitive nursling, I omitted and it was still the best pesto I've ever made.
Have a great week!