Bean cooking Q&A with Alicia Kennedy
Say hello to our friend, Alicia Kennedy. Her popular newsletter, From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy, covers food culture and her nuanced perspective of food systems is often a reminder of why we created Primary Beans in the first place. As part of her newsletter, Alicia also shares creative and personal recipes, offering candid insights into plant-based cooking from her kitchen in Puerto Rico. As a fellow bean enthusiast and ingredient inquisitor, we were thrilled to chat with her about her take on cooking brothy beans.
Q: What's your cooking vessel preference?
A: I cook my beans in a cherry red Staub Dutch oven that I got deeply on sale, and I wouldn't trade it for anything, considering how evenly it distributes and well it retains heat.
Q: What are your favorite aromatics?
A: I'm very, very simple, because I like to cook beans in large batches and use them for a variety of meals. I stick to just olive oil and salt, and sometimes a twig of rosemary or thyme if they're kicking around.
Q: What are your favorite brothy beans toppings?
A: Calabrian chilies are almost a cop-out of a reply to this, because they're my favorite topping for everything on earth, but it’s definitely Calabrian chilies.
Q: What are your favorite quick things to do with cooked beans?
A: Easy dips, blending the beans up with roasted hearty vegetables and whole cloves of garlic. My favorite is a mellow white bean blended with roasted carrot, garlic, and olive oil. Fennel is also a great addition.
Q: What's your favorite way to serve or enjoy beans?
A: I live to make beans en escabeche – the brothy bean way for folks in tropical or hotter climates. With a combination of vinegar, olive oil, the herbs and sweet pepper of Puerto Rican sofrito, and a topping of stuffed Spanish olives, it's really such a good treat for sharing at barbecues or parties. It has both elegance and big flavor, and is so good scooped up with chips.