Scarlet Runner Beans and Rice
“Red beans and rice” is a traditional Monday meal in Louisiana. History has it that women cooked this dish while they did their Monday laundering. The beans simmered on the stove all day while they were busy at the washboard. We chose heirloom scarlet runner beans to add a twist. Kidney beans or any other variety you choose will also taste great.
1/2 pound dried scarlet runner beans, soaked overnight*
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme, divided
1 tsp dried oregano, divided
1-1/2 cups brown rice
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 orange bell pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 pound andouille (or other spicy) sausage, sliced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
Put the drained beans in a stock pot and cover with 6 cups cold water. Add bay leaves, and half of the thyme and oregano. Gently simmer, partially covered, for about an hour or until the beans are tender. Add 1 tsp salt after 45 minutes and start checking for doneness of beans.
Begin cooking your rice in a medium pot according to your preferred method. Keep it warmed after it is done cooking.
Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and add the vegetables, garlic and remaining thyme and oregano. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add the spices and season with salt and pepper. Add vegetable mixture to finished beans and then simmer for 5 more minutes to infuse the flavors.
In the same large sauté pan, brown the andouille sausage over medium high heat. Add the scallions to the pan at the end or use them as garnish over the finished dish.
Serve beans, over rice. Top with andouille.
*If you didn’t soak the beans, you are not alone. Try this quick soak method: Place beans in a pot and cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer briskly for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain. Proceed as if you soaked them overnight.