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Pinto beans, also known as Carioca, are extensively used in traditional Mexican and South American dishes. They are a small, speckled reddish-brown elongated bean. They have a soft, easily mashed texture when cooked and a nutty flavour. Use them in salads, soups, dips and spicy dishes.
To prepare dried pinto beans either soak them overnight in plenty of water; or rinse beans and bring to the boil in fresh water – then let stand covered for 1-2 hours. Do not add salt to the cooking water at this stage, as this can make the ‘skins’ tough. Drain & use, or refrigerate for up to 2 days. Alternatively, dried pintos can be added directly to slow-cook recipes and cooked for about 4 hours. Pinto Beans will almost double in weight when cooked. Pinto beans are delicious in a mixed bean salad with olive oil, garlic & fresh herbs; lunchbox wraps; dips or salsa; traditional Mexican refried beans, soups & broths or in a chilli hot-pot. Wonderful with mock meats.
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