Pinto beans have a very short season, which is why you hardly ever see them fresh. But fresh pinto beans, when boiled with a little cilantro, salt, butter and onion, are absolutely delicious. The center is creamy, with the consistency of a chocolate truffle. Dried pintos can be gritty.
Ray's Produce will have fresh pinto beans this week and possibly next weekend. They are $4 a pound. Ray's is a wholesale/retail venue near the farmers' market at Gibbs and Airline, just across from the new Flores Spices and near El Bolillo Bakery. It stays open until 2 p.m. on Saturdays.
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Another Ray's bargain: Instead of paying $1 a pound for navel oranges at the grocery store, which averages out to about a buck an orange, buy a box of 72 here for $18. They've been exceptionally sweet this year. Ray will sell you any quantity of vegetables, too.