Friday, July 11, 2008

White bean salad (ensalada de alubias)

OK, so this recipe has no garlic, but is delicious anyway, and has lots of onion. It is also vegan.
I wanted to make an "ensalda de alubias" like the one I had a long time ago in an Argentinian restaurant called La Taba in Mexico City.

I was looking for alubias, the white beans that is used in Spain to make fabada, apparently they are called fabes in English, but I couldn't find them anywhere. Even at St. Lawrence Market, where there is a guy who has every bean and rice imaginable, when I asked for fabes they wanted to give me fava beans, which are not the same. And when I looked up fabes on the internet it always took me to a generic beans page, so I tried to look for substitutes. I ended up buying baby lima beans. They were good enough.

I soaked 1.5 cups of dry baby lima beans overnight in the fridge.
Then I cooked them in the pressure cooker for 10 minutes with the heart of one celery, 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, half an onion, 2 cloves of garlic slightly crushed and 3 bay leaves. I let the pressure cooker cool naturally and then I opened it.

Meanwhile I chopped about 3/4 red onion and covered it with the juice of 2 lemons and about 1 teaspoon of sea salt. I did this to marinade the onion and make it less strong for eating.

When the beans were cooked, I removed the celery, the garlic, the bay leaves and the onion and drained the beans keeping about 1/4 cup of the cooking water. I let the beans totally cool (or you can rinse them in cold water as well, but they are delicate and may peel if you do that, I recommend just letting them cool down). I then added the cooking water and beans to the lemon+onion concoction. I then used 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil and (here's the secret ingredient) 1 teaspoon powdered dry oregano. Mix everything and add salt and pepper to taste.

The salad was delicious!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi! Alubias are cannellini beans. You can find them canned; Goya is a good brand, as is La Preferida, although I'm sure you can find other brands as well. I hope this helps so long after your original post!