Saturday, April 02, 2005

Beans ala Brenda

On Flickr I saw a crispy bean salad by Brendadada and photographed by Shooz and it looked so good I thought I would have to give it a go.

Beans are protein, and pound for pound they are equal to a good cut of meat, but cost only a few pennies. I hunted all around for broadbeans in Espoonlahti but could not find any. I finally went into an Iranian shop where I usually get my pickled garlic and the owner convinced me to buy some Iranian white beans instead. Beans like peas are dried so they do not spoil in storage, so he advised me to soak them in water overnight to rehydrate them.

Brenda has since told me that a pinch of "bicarbonate of soda" helps in the softening process. In the morning the water was drained off. Soaking keeps the beans from splitting open during cooking or from having the outside shell fall apart while the middle is still hard.

Once cooked I sprinkled some olive oil on them and spiced them up with parsley, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, and garlic pepper bread crumbs. I spread them on a baking tray in the oven and cooked until crispy. The smell from the oven will tell you when they are done. It is heavenly... that is if you like garlic.

I laid the beans on a bed of oak leaf lettuce, and to go along with it I diced plum tomatoes and red onion and stirred in some sweet chilli pineapple sauce. For a third flavour on the plate I also had some potato, gherkin salad. On the side was some bread made by Maija which had sundried tomatoes folded into it.


1 comment:

Apprentice said...

Add a teaspoon of bicarb and one of salt to the soaking water. Sounds like a lot, but you rinse it off so it doesn't taste. Helps soften the skins, so you don't get that plasticky texture in your mouth.

Crispy beans are good done with butterbeans. You soak and parboil them, then lay out on a tray in a hot oven, sprinkled with oilive oil and sea salt. Or anything else you fancy. You can do them in a hot wok too.

Gorgeous picture, Bob. Bon appetit!