how to cook beans in summer if you don’t have air conditioning: black beans, aromatics, espazote, spices, lime.
Beans, especially Mexican beans, would be a great focus for a veggie summer dinner. But the prospect of hovering for hours over a simmering pot on your stove when it’s sweltering in your house is enough to rule them out. The solution: slow cook the suckers.
Pick through your beans, and then place them in a pot with enough cold water to cover them by several inches. Add a quartered onion or a roughly chopped leak, several peeled and smashed cloves of garlic, several sprigs of dried espazote, and a generous amount of chile powder and ground cumin, coriander. No salt!
Place the pot on high heat and bring it to a rolling boil, stirring once or twice on the way up. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let it sit for 1 hour.
After an hour, bring the pot back up to a boil and transfer its contents to a slow cooker. If necessary, add enough extra boiling water to just cover the beans. Cook on high for 4 hours, checking for doneness at 3 hours. Once the beans are done, salt them to your liking.
To serve, season with lime juice, and garnish however you like. In the picture, I’ve used cotija cheese, a charred red chile, cilantro, and a lime wedge.