Fresh Pinto Beans with Orange

Fresh Pinto Beans with Orange
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fresh pinto beans and orange
Fresh pinto beans? Yep!

Now, since we’ve never seen fresh pinto beans in a store, we guess that very few people will need to read this post, but we figured that, maybe, one or two of you wanted to know what we did with those fresh pinto beans we picked up from the CSA. Well, this is it.

When you join a CSA, you don’t know what you’ll get from week to week. And, for some, that’s a bad thing, as you need to make your recipes fit your vegetables, rather than purchasing the vegetables for your recipes. We’ll admit that it can be difficult, and, when we picked up fresh pinto beans (they look like a large version of green beans), we were stymied for a minute. What can you do with fresh pinto beans?

Well, we knew they’d be tougher than wax or green beans, so we’d cook them a long time to make them tender, and that they’d have a tough string in them, so we’d have to string them. With the idea of adding an orange for a bit of citrus flavor, we were set.

Fresh Pinto Beans with Orange

Yield: 2 servings

Fresh Pinto Beans with Orange


  • 8 ounces fresh pinto beans (or fresh green beans)
  • 2 Tbs diced white onion
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 orange

Abbreviated Instructions

Pull tips and tails from beans and remove strings.

Place beans in a large saucepan with onion, salt, pepper, and about 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, and cover.

Peel and slice orange to remove segments. Add to beans and simmer until beans are quite tender, 30 to 45 minutes.

Ingredient discussion:

Any kind of fresh bean will work for this recipe, although the cooking time may have to be adjusted.

Procedure in detail:

de-stringed fresh pinto beans
There are tough strings down each side of the bean, so remove them by snapping off the tips and tails and pulling them down along the sides.

String beans. Or de-string them, whichever term you prefer. It’s not difficult: simply pick up a bean, and snap off the stem end. The string will remain attached on one side, so simply pull the tip down along the bean to pull out the string. Do the same with the tail of the bean, removing the other string.

cooking fresh pinto beans
With a long cooking like this, a few onions will add a nice flavor.

Simmer beans. Place beans in a large saucepan, along with the onions, salt, and pepper. Add about 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, and cover.

supreming and orange
The easy way to get nice-looking orange segments: cut off the top and bottom, then cut off the peel.
supreming and orange
Once peeled, us a chef’s knife to cut out the segments.

Supreme orange. You don’t want the pith from the orange in the beans. It’ll add nothing but a bitter taste, so you need to cut out the segments. At one time, we’d peel the orange, pull it apart, and cut out the segments, but now we supreme the orange. Break out your chef’s knife and cut off the top and bottom of the orange. Cut deeply enough that you’ll see the fruit, but not so deep that you cut away a lot. Stand the orange on the now- flat bottom, and use your chef’s knife to cut down along the sides of the orange, removing the peel without cutting away too much fruit. You’ll feel the right place to cut as you do it. Once the peel is gone, pick up the orange and simply cut down along the pith of each segment, popping each one loose as you work. Easy.

adding orange
Just drop the orange segments right on top of the simmering beans.

Simmer. Add the orange segments and continue to simmer until the beans are quite tender and the segments have broken apart, about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the beans.

Easy, and pretty good, although we’d consider adding an additional orange in the future, as the orange flavor was somewhat muted by the stronger flavor of the pinto beans. But, for a first try at cooking fresh pinto beans, we’ll give it four stars.

Worth the trouble?

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