Yellow Indian Woman beans, from Rancho Gordo, sound earth-centered and soulful somehow. Truthfully, you can probably substitute any flavorful beans and enjoy a tasty dip but the name alone makes this recipe seem way more exotic. This bean was originally grown by Native Americans — likely by women — in Montana.
Beans are a wonderful source of nutritious deliciousness, and heirlooms bridge us to the past. In fact, a bean thought to be left by the Anasazi Indians was found in a cave in New Mexico in a 1500 year old sealed clay pot — incredibly, it still germinated after all that time. Other yellow heirlooms include the North Dakota Arikara tribe’s Yellow Bush Bean and the Hopi Yellow Bean.
In this dip, the fresh herbs are your choice and depending upon the time of year may be limited but we think dill and lemon go particularly well together. You can always use some parsley and add a few good pinches of dried herbs if you can’t get fresh. The beans seem to soak up the flavor of dried herbs more slowly so allow for extra chilling time before serving.
These beans were gifted to me by The Veggie Queen, Mistress of the Pressure Cooker. Trust the Queen on this one. If you eat beans, invest in a pressure cooker because it can cook beans fast.
2-3 Cups cooked beans plus 1 cup reserved cooking liquid
1 Lemon juice
½ Tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Herbs including Dill, Parsley, Thyme, Tarragon and/or Oregano (or 1 ¼ Tsp. dried)
¼ Tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Step One: Add beans, ½ cup reserved liquid, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil to a blender, preferably a high-speed blender if you like creamy dip. You can also use a food processor or even a stick blender if that’s all you have. Blend well until mixture is creamy, adding more liquid if necessary.
Step Two: Add herbs and blend or process quickly, so that the herbs stay somewhat whole – they should not be blended beyond recognition.
Step Three: Taste and adjust seasonings adding more lemon juice, salt/pepper as preferred. Drizzle top with olive oil and chill for at least 1 hour or longer.
Enjoy with crisp cucumber slices, crusty bread or whatever else you like to dip. Also great on sandwiches.