Ayocote Bean & Mushroom Salad

Ayocote Bean & Mushroom Salad Recipe

Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo writes one of my favorite newsletters. For those of you who don't know Steve, you've likely encountered his beautiful heirloom beans, they're celebrated by some of the country's best chefs, and fanatically embraced by just about every great cook I know. If not, you're in for a treat. Cooking my way through Steve's beans over the years has been a grand culinary adventure - one I hope to continue for many more years - and I like to look to the Rancho Gordo newsletter for ideas. I always find myself wishing other businesses would take inspiration from newsletters like this one. Here's why. It comes from Steve, Steve started the business. He's knowledgable, passionate, enthusiastic, and continually evolving and learning as an individual. All of this comes through in the first-person letters he sends. The mix of content is also part of the magic - a cocktail of good stories, humor, cooking insights, and detailed information about whatever product he is highlighting. You might get a glimpse of some travel, and always a selection of bang-on recipes. Because he interacts regularly with chefs and great cooks who share their insights and ideas, Steve passes on the gems to the reader. Most important, I always get the feeling that I received the email because he had something worth sharing, not because he felt like he had to send out a newsletter.

In addition to the Rancho Gordo newsletter, I'll also mention the Aesop newsletter, which I enjoy for entirely different reasons, here's a link to the archives (although I think I'm now signed up for all their marketing emails which I don't love). And I love the notes from Marta & Robert at cookbook in Echo Park, Los Angeles where each email opens with a piece of poetry, and a glimpse of what they're cooking for the store. With my in-box constantly at capacity, these are always welcome additions. And there is always room for a few others, so let me know if there is a newsletter you love. I'm game.

Back to the heirloom beans - I made this wintery bean salad with gorgeous Rancho Gordo ayocote negro beans, and pan-fried hedgehog mushrooms. You get some crunch from toasted almonds, and sweetness from dried figs which works nicely to offset the acid in the shallot vinaigrette. There's also some shredded kale involved. It's a good lunch salad, and you can make a good portion of it in advance.

Ayocote Mushroom SaladAyocote Mushroom Salad

Ayocote Bean & Mushroom Salad

I use Rancho Gordo Ayocote Negro beans here, but you can substitute another black bean if you like. If you use canned beans, make sure they're well rinsed. Also, I use dried figs here, but other dried fruit such as apricots, pluots, or persimmons will work equally well.

shallot vinaigrette
1/3 cup minced shallots
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
4 cups cooked black beans
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/3 cup sliced dried figs
1/3 cup chopped toasted almonds

1 big handful of shredded radicchio and/or kale
micro greens or chopped chives to finish

Combine the shallots with the red wine vinegar in a small bowl. Allow to sit for ten minutes or so. Whisk in the salt, and olive oil. Taste and adjust if needed. If your vinaigrette is too harsh, add a small amount of honey or a sprinkling of sugar to take the edge off.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, and salt, and cook, stirring a few times along the way, until the mushrooms take on color and release their water. About 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and gently fold the beans, celery, figs, and almonds into the skillet with the mushrooms. Pour the shallot vinaigrette over everything, add the shredded radicchio/kale, and toss before serving.

Serves 4-6.

Prep time: 10 min

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This looks absolutely amazing and so full of flavour, as well as being gorgeous!

Millie | Add A Little

I'm definitely signing up for that newsletter. I'm a huge fan of Rancho Gordo's products, especially their chiles.
Now I have to try these Ayocote beans, they sound amazing!


Hi Heidi,

This salad looks lovely, and thanks for all of the newsletter recommendations. I quite enjoy the Anson Mills newsletter. xo


What a beautiful, inventive salad. I love that the beans themselves look just like little kalamata olives, dary and shiny and purpley. I've always wanted to try Rancho Gordo beans, but I remain unsure of whether they deliver to Canada, and if so, if the price would be prohibitive... So I continue to dream, and ogle other people's Rancho Gordo creations!

Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table

What a treasure! Every bite seems both precious and filled with flavor. This is my first time being introduced to Steve and his newsletter. Thanks!

Erin | Well Plated

I love any recipe that makes for a good lunch the next day. And nothing beats a good salad with toasted almonds for that crunch factor! Never heard of avocote beans before.

Laura @ RYG

A delicious salad packed with protein! Lovely!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Hm too bad there's no retailers selling Rancho in the valley of LA I live in. I'll have to keep an eye out. Is there a comparable bean out there?

Where did you end up getting those mushrooms from? Was it from the grocer in Echo Park?

My friends live in Santa Rosa, wine country, close to Rancho. Every time I visit that area, I make plans to retire there. :)

Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious

Muy buenas ensaladas, aparte de saludables se ven sabrosas. Gracias.

Praxedis Cifuentes

Holy COW is that gorgeous!

Elissa | PoorMansFeast

Thank you for the newsletter info, I subscribed to all three. This salad is stunning, and filled with my favorite things. Yes! Rinse canned beans please! I know people who don't do that and yuck, just yuck!

Linda @ Veganosity

No newsletter recommendations here I'm afraid, but have you come across unroll.me? It makes my inbox approximately 1000x less terrifying by bunching up all the automated-type mails into one big one. Sorry if this is news only to me! (that does happen quite a lot)


Oh wow this looks soooo good. Unfortunatly I can no longer eat legumes of any kind since my near death experience on top of a Japanese mountain after eating Azuki beans.....for some reason my body decided that was it and the now, any legumes would kill me if I ingested them.....I now have to have an epi-pen on me at all time. And then I see this in my feed.....*sad face*


The Anson Mills newsletter is also beautifully written and full of gems; and Table on Ten's is always inspiring!


I'm always happy to meet a new bean! And what a beauty she is. Thanks for the introduction!

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth

Wow, what a beautiful salad and delicious photography. Thank you, Heidi!

Douglas Klein

No, Elissa, this time, it's holy HEDGEHOGS! The freshest take on mushrooms and beans yet. Thank heavens.


Oh my, I love the look of this salad! And those mushrooms, with the lovely dark-yellow colour, mmmm ^ ^

Jules @ WolfItDown

Gorgeous and absolutely scrumptious ! Beans never looked so good !


The salad looks delicious, and the surface you photographed it on is striking. Love the color palatte!

Angela DeCenzo

I love Rancho Gordo beans! Their packaging makes me smile every time I use them :)

Sarah from Soymilk + Honey

This is now on our menu for the week -- it looks amazing. And thank you for mentioning Rancho Gordo -- what a find. Can't wait to get our order and make this meal. Thanks, Heidi!

Mary Rigdon

This looks like such a clean, delicious meal! I love Rancho Gordo beans!!!

Rebecca @ DisplacedHousewife

Beautiful! I am a big fan of Krista Tippet and her radio program On Being, which explores, through fascinating interviews, every facet of what it means to be a human being. I receive a terrific weekly newsletter from them put together by managing editor Trent Gillis. Highly recommended.


looks fantastic. Will give it a try soon.

Sara Liz

I love, love, love Rancho Gordo, their beans, and the good work this company does in preserving agricultural traditions. I have only tried their cassoulet and scarlet runner beans so far, but the cassoulets were by far the creamiest, sweetest beans I have ever had. I cannot wait to try more. And now I will also sign up for their newsletter :D

Maggie @ Veg Fiend

I so wish I had the chance to buy and try some Rancho Gordo beans when I was over!! Such an amazing selection. This salad looks perfect xx

Emma Galloway

What a wonderful combination! never had mushrooms with beans (in a salad) before. It's worth a try!

Montse {Rhu & Sam}

You don't cease to keep inspiring, Heidi. Just lovely. Thank you for sharing what you're reading.


Wow, this is beautiful and the flavors sound so unique and also so delicious. I love the pairing of beans and mushrooms!

Sarah @ SnixyKitchen

I just finished making this recipe....sooo gooood!!! Thanks for sharing, loved the addition of kale in here, as cold as it is, other kinds of salads are not so inspiring these days.


The newsletter sounds too good to miss, as does this beautiful salad. Simply lovely.


I just finished making this recipe....sooo gooood!!! Thanks for sharing, loved the addition of kale in here, as cold as it is, other kinds of salads are not so inspiring these days.


What a beautiful looking salad. I love the combination of beans, mushrooms, figs, and almonds - such a great combination of flavours and textures. If only we could get Rancho Gordo beans, or even much variety of beans at all really, in my part of the world.

Couscous & Consciousness

This is a lovely, hearty looking salad that would be perfect for a trip to a warm, cozy cabin. I am not familiar with Rancho Gordon's newsletter, but it sounds great.

kristie {birch and wild}

This is my new favorite thing - and with some fresh almonds the next day, even better as it's marinated and mellowed. (BTW, to be more economical I used shiitake instead)


We are lucky members of the Rancho Gordo Bean Club...lucky because there's quite a waiting list. Anyway, just happened to have all the ingredients and made this last night. It was excellent and, like most bean recipes, is even better today! Thank you (again) for your interesting, great tasting recipes.

Donna Kristaponis

Did you get a new camera? The style of your photography looks so different! Is it just me? :)

HS: No, I just shot it on a dark background this time - although I have had my eye on a new camera ;)


Thanks for the newsletter tips. This looks great, I'm always after lunch salads and this looks perfect.


Beautiful salad for this season.
I've never tried Rancho Gordo beans but love their packaging...so cute.
This is surely a must-try.


I prepared this recipe just after it appeared on this website following it exactly. It was wonderful. It is fantastic as a vegetarian salad/dinner. It is equally fantastic with a slice of grilled salmon served on top. I also sprinkled it with some roasted diced butternut squash which gave even better color. Loving leftovers too. Thanks.


Such a great post! Thank you for being such an inspiration. This looks great, as always.

Natalie @peppercornkingdom

made this the other night for a potluck. it was it was beautiful and delicious. i'd hoped the small bit of leftovers would hold up the next day but the radicchio didn't, which i should have known. if i make it for myself next time i'll leave the greens out and garnish each time i'm going to eat it.

robin lewis

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