Ayocote Bean & Mushroom Salad Recipe

Newsletter love, and a wintery bean salad made with gorgeous Rancho Gordo ayocote negro beans, and pan-fried hedgehog mushrooms. You get 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 Bean & Mushroom Salad

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

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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 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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

Angela DeCenzo

Gorgeous and absolutely scrumptious ! Beans never looked so good !


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

Jules @ WolfItDown

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


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

Douglas Klein

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

Amy @ Parsley In My Teeth

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


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*


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)


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

Holy COW is that gorgeous!

Elissa | PoorMansFeast

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

Praxedis Cifuentes

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

A delicious salad packed with protein! Lovely!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

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

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

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

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


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!


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

Millie | Add A Little

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