Jonji’s always been bemused by my love of beans; he thinks they’re okay, nothing special. He’s been calling me “Bean Queen” for years, a title which I’ve happily accepted. I knew I wasn’t alone in my bean appreciation (hello, Alison Roman), but I mostly oversaw a kingdom filled with very few subjects, and no fellow rulers in sight. I finally felt seen when two of our close friends revealed their true nature as fellow bean queens.
A Bean Queen is someone who unabashedly loves beans—not just likes them, but a person who, for instance, gets excited about heirloom beans, maybe orders several bags online to add to a veritable collection of beans, and who integrates beans into as many meals as possible. Finally, I have friends who also want to order the bean-heavy meals at restaurants, who bring bean dips to gatherings, and who sport their bean friendship necklaces alongside me (not joking about the necklaces). Some peasants’—sorry, people’s—stomachs struggle to digest the glorious bean, but not mine. I could eat beans for most meals and probably notice nothing but my fantastically good mood.
These eggs can be eaten for any meal, but they’re an exceptionally delightful way to start a day. Pumpkin seeds are supposedly a good source of vitamins and minerals, and I’m pretty sure the scallion salsa and beans are also really good for us. If centuries of communities have thrived on mainly dishes of rice and beans, there must be something special (dare I say, magical?) about these little starchy nuggets. And if you want to spoil your inner Bean Queen a little, feel free to venture out into uncharted lands—cook up a batch of your favorite beans (think Mayocoba, Soldier, Cannelini, maybe even Giant Corona beans!) and use those instead. All hail beans!
Scrambled Eggs with Black Beans, Salted Pepitas, & Scallion Salsa
Serves 4 | adapted from Molly Baz’s Cook This Book
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 cup olive oil
For the scallion salsa:
2 bunches scallions (or about 12 total), chopped into roughly 1/4-inch pieces
1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (including most of the stems)
1/4 cup olive oil
a few dashes of hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups cooked black beans, from one 15oz can or from your own batch
feta, crumbled (optional)
salt and pepper
(Wash any produce that needs it, and trim off the ends of the scallions and cilantro stems.)
First, prepare the pumpkin seeds. Place a medium skillet over medium heat, then add 1/4 cup olive oil and the 1 cup pumpkin seeds. Stirring occasionally, cook until the pumpkin seeds start to pop and some look pretty brown and toasty. Transfer the seeds to a bowl, leaving as much of the oil as possible (a slotted spoon works well here). Season with salt to taste.
Make the scallion salsa. Place the same pan back over medium heat and, once the pan is quite hot, add the chopped scallions. Stirring occasionally, cook until they’re softened and even a little charred, 5-10 minutes. (If they look dry at any point, add another tablespoon of olive oil.) Remove from the heat and scrape into a medium bowl. Stir in the chopped cilantro, the 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of 1 lime, and the hot sauce, if using. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
Heat up your black beans with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a small pot or pan over medium heat. After a minute or two (once the beans are sizzling), add a couple tablespoons of water, cover the pan, and turn the heat to low. Season with salt and pepper, if needed (the ones from the can certainly will). Turn off the heat once the beans are hot and, still covered to keep them warm, set aside.
Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl. Heat the same medium skillet over medium-high heat, then add 1 tbsp unsalted butter and 1 tbsp olive oil. Stir the butter and oil until the butter has melted, then wait a couple of minutes until the pan and oil are both quite hot. Pour in your whisked eggs and, once the edges start to bubble and firm up, stir the edges inward with your spatula. Keep stirring often until the eggs are properly scrambled, and remove from the heat when they still glisten but are no longer runny. Immediately divide between 4 plates. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
Working quickly, garnish each plate of eggs with beans, scallion salsa, feta (if using), and pumpkin seeds.