Friday, June 1, 2007

Marrow Beans In Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon And Oregano

Another bean post. This time 'round I've cooked up the Marrow beans that I recently bought from Rancho Gordo's in Napa, California. In my last post about his beans, I forgot to tell you that Steve Sando, and his beans, may be found, fondled (yes!) and purchased Saturday mornings at the San Francisco Ferry Building farmers market.

And just in case Steve reads this and thinks I'm vying to be chosen to test recipes from his up coming book, Heirloom Beans: Recipes from Rancho Gordo, yes, I am. I didn't start out to, honest, but once I started posting about his beans, the idea did occur to me. I may as well be honest about it, right?

Lusciously creamy with a light taste that can take on the flavors of what it's paired with, in this case, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh lemon juice, garlic and fresh oregano, this bean will keep its shape after cooking yet can be mashed into a light and fluffy spread for crackers or artisan bread.

I cooked the beans without bay leaves this time; just clean, fresh water after a 6-hour soaking. After they were cooked for about 45 minutes, I drained them (saving the cooking liquid) and allowed them to come to room temperature.

For this dish, I heated extra-virgin olive oil in a skillet then added a fresh bay leaf that had been torn in half and allowed to permeate the hot olive oil for about 5 minutes. After fishing the bay leaf parts out, I gently sauteed minced garlic in the olive oil. Fresh lemon juice, a bit of salt, freshly chopped oregano and some of the cooking liquid rounded out the ingredients. The beans were then tossed with this mixture and I've got to say, the combination was delightful.

Marrow Beans in Garlic, Olive Oil, Lemon and Oregano
Christine's original recipe
2 1/2 cups Rancho Gordo dry Marrow beans soaked and then cooked in fresh, cold water
For each 1 1/2 cups of cooked beans:
1 fresh bay leaf, torn in half
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon (or more to taste) fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons bean cooking liquid
kosher salt to taste
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the torn bay leaf and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Keep the heat low so the oil does not smoke.
Remove the bay leaf pieces from the skillet and add the minced garlic, cooking until just fragrant and slightly golden, about 2 minutes.
Off the heat, pour the skillet contents over about 1 1/2 cups of the cooked beans, tossing gently. Add the lemon and the bean cooking liquid, 1 tablespoon at a time until the consistency you desire.
Gently stir in the chopped oregano and season with the kosher salt.
Serve warm or at room temperature along side your main dinner dish, or with crackers as an appetizer.

Dare I enter two bean posts, back to back, to Weekend Herb Blogging? Since I'm going to be gone this weekend, and this will be my only post until next week, yes is the answer. Back with our fearless originator this week, the wonderful Kalyn will post her round-up on Sunday. Be sure to check it out! Want to join in the fun? Click here to see how it's done.

Copyright © 2005-2007, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. looks & sounds great. I love beans but hadn't heard of these.

  2. You can't post too many bean recipes as far as I'm concerned. I love them.
    This one sounds like it would be nice cold, too.

  3. Katie took the words right out of my mouth! Beans are always great. I keep hearing how good these are; must get some! Hope you're going somewhere fun this weekend, and it's officially summer vacation here!

  4. Yikes, If I had a wish I'd be right after you on the list to test his recipes. This looks absolutely excellent!

  5. Sounds really tasty. I have signed up to your posts with will check again.

  6. Beans are good~ I love the idea of serving them as an appetizer~AND, you have a wonderful store to buy all these delicious beans!

  7. Another wonderful-sounding dish. I've never had Marrow beans before.


  8. Hi David, I hadn't heard of them before seeing them at Rancho Gordo's stand. Now I'm going to have to put in a really large order so I have them on hand all the time!

    They are indeed delicious cold, which is how I ate them while standing with my head in the fridge!

    Hello Kalyn,
    Great round up, as always! I was in San Francisco this weekend, meeting up with son Jeff and daughter-in-law Amy to attend a music gig of theirs. It was great fun!
    I'm so glad summer vacation has begun for you. You deserve it!

    Thanks Tanna! You can always throw your hat in the recipe testing ring by going to the Rancho Gordo site and leaving a message that you'd like to be a recipe tester. I know it's kind of late, but you never know...

    Anne, I hope it works this time. Keep me posted.

    You, too, can have Gordo's beans. Go to their web site, ranchogordoDOTcom, and order away!

    Paz, Try 'em, you'll love 'em!

  9. I,ve never seen marrow beans locally, but now I will seek them out. This looks good! I'm craving beans now!

  10. And I'm craving some of your husband's rhubarb pie! Wow!

  11. Marrow beans! How wonderful! I love the way you prepared them. I'm a huge bean fan and can happily eat them every single day. Now, I'm very hungry! :):)

  12. Beans are everywhere today! You started something.

    It's funny, because I rarely eat beans in summer, unless they are in black bean salsa. I must rethink this.

  13. Hi Mimi, It's easy for me to think about beans in the summertime because our temperature highs are generally in the 60s. And when the sun goes down, it's cold! When everyone is outside eating cold soups, I'm thinking hot ones.


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