Beans. / Photo by: EE Berger / Food Styling: Ross Yedinak / Prop Styling: Stephanie Potts
As wine lovers, we’re aware of our effect on the planet and how farming choices interplay with climate crisis. Parsing out the impact of what we eat, though, can be daunting.
But what if there were a near-perfect food? Imagine a plant that replenishes the soil in which it’s grown and provides nutrients to the people who eat it, a food that’s as versatile and delicious as it is virtuous.
Please meet the bean.
Its roots host bacteria that convert atmospheric nitrogen into nitrates in the soil, which other plants can use as food. This makes beans a fantastic rotation crop with other plants, particularly grains.
Luckily, beans are as delicious as they are practical. Look for heirloom beans or those from local farmers, cook them from their dried state, and you’ll be treated to creamy little nuggets rich in peppery and/or earthy flavors that you may want to just eat all on their own.
If that sounds like too much work, canned beans are an easy pantry staple that can be used in any of the following recipes.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2022 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine. Click here to subscribe today!