Giant Black Beans Spread and the Winner of my Cookbook

The other day when I was writing the post for the Vegan Black Bean Spanakopita, I was craving these beans again so the next day, I made them into a casserole dish with lots of vegetables and tomato sauce.   Dried legumes are very healthy as they are a good source of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, anti-oxidants etc.

I try to cook legumes as often as I can but as it takes a lot of time to prepare them, what I usually do  is that I cook larger amounts than necessary and store the remaining in the deep freezer, so this saves time and energy the next time and  we all know that time (and electricity or gas in this case) is money.     I also do this with other dried legumes as well.

In this case I boiled all the package of black beans (500 grams / 1.10 lbs) but only used half of them.

The remaining were kept in the refrigerator as I was going to make something else with them soon but you can place them in a tupperware or zip lock bag, label them and store them in the deep freezer for a long time, to be used whenever you like.

These beans have a natural sweet taste and in combination with the remaining ingredients they tasted heavenly.

I know from your comments that these specific black beans are not sold abroad but don’t let this prevent you from cooking them with other giant beans.     This is not a sponsored or paid post so even if these beans are fantastic, each kind of bean has its own characteristic taste but I think it has more to do with the ingredients you use to cook a meal which will make it taste good or not.

Fasolia Gigantes sto fourno me marathoriza kai prassa, Recipe by Ivy
(Giant Baked Beans with leeks and fennel bulb)

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 30 mnts boiling plus 1 hour 15 mnts in the oven

Serves: 4 – 5

Ingredients:

250 grams Kozani gigantes beans
3 spring onions, finely chopped
2 leeks, only the white part, finely chopped
1/2 cup fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended (or 1 can of whole tomatoes (500 grams))
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup white dry wine
2 cups celery ribs, finely chopped
4 big carrots, grated
1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
½ cup marathos (fennel fronds), finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup water

Directions:

  1. Soak beans in plenty of water, overnight.
  2. Drain and add fresh water and bring to a boil and remove any froth with a slotted ladle. Drain them again and add fresh water and bay leaves and bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until almost cooked (about 1 hour and 30 minutes) and then. (At this stage the remaining 250 grams were frozen after cooling).
  3. Preheat oven at 200o C 400o F.
  4. Heat olive oil in a sautéing pan and sauté onions, leek and garlic until translucent.
  5. Add the beans and mixed
  6. Add chopped fennel bulb, celery, carrots, parsley, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper and mix.
  7. Add wine and mix until alcohol evaporates.
  8. In a food processor mix the tomatoes with tomato paste and add to the beans.  Finally add water and mix.
  9. Remove in a casserole dish with a lid and cook in the oven for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, mixing once, half  way through.

On Sunday I wanted to make an appetizer so I wanted to see what I could make with the beans I had in the refrigerator, by improvising.  It was a taste and create procedure.  I had an idea what I wanted to make but while preparing them I added the lemon juice, coriander pesto and feta.

I measured the olive oil and started pureeing the onion, garlic and spring onion with a few tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.    I added some black beans and continued pureeing.  If there was difficulty to puree them, I just added a tablespoon liquid (which was either oil, vinegar or lemon juice) and continued.  I emptied the mixture in a bowl and continued puréeing the remaining in two more batches.  While working on this I remembered that last week I made a fresh coriander (cilantro) pesto. In the past I have mentioned that I do not find fresh coriander in Greece and only recently I have discovered someone at the frarmers” market selling some.  He doesn’t produce much so he sells out quickly, so whenever I find some I buy 2 – 3 bunches and make some pesto and keep it in the deep freezer.  The last time I made it I used pecans instead of cashews and there was no cheese in it.   I took it out of the deep freezer, cut it with a knife and I did not have any problem puréeing it frozen as it was, with the beans and some liquid.

At the end I mixed the three batches well together and added the seasoning.  It still lacked some salt, even after adding some more, so instead of adding salt again that’s when I thought of adding feta but if you want to keep it vegan, you can adjust the taste accordingly, although feta makes everything much creamier and tasty.

Note: You can add fresh coriander if you like but just have in mind that the pesto already has olive oil and garlic in it, so you must adjust the taste accordinlgy and add some nuts as well.

Giant Black Beans Spread, Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time: above 2 hours

Serves: 4 – 5 as a side dish

Ingredients:
250 grams black giant beans, cooked until soft
1 small clove garlic
1 small red onion
1 green onion, only white part
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup cilantro pesto
3 tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of harissa
Pinch of dried coriander
Pinch of oregano
(Extra salt and black pepper)
40 grams crumbled feta

Kalamata olives

Directions:

Start with onion, garlic, spring onion, salt and pepper and a few tbsps olive oil.  Add black beans and continue, adding oil, vinegar or lemon juice gradually.   Continue by removing pureed beans in a bowl and adding more beans each time adding olive oil or lemon juice or vinegar.   Continue with a third batch adding the fresh coriander.

Season with salt, pepper, harissa, dried coriander and oregano.  Crumble feta and mix.

Serve as a side dish wish «oily» fish which will help absorb the calcium or add it on top of toasted bread, add a few pitted Kalamata olives on top and serve as an appetizer.

The past few days I was working on a new blog I created, which has to do only with the cookbook. Most of my Cypriot recipes have been posted here on the blog except some new ones which were never posted. It is difficult for someone new to my blog to find all these Cypriot recipes, so I have collected all the recipes in one blog and placed a link to the respective recipe here on the blog. This will also help those who have bought the book to find more information about a recipe which could not be included in the book. Some of the other recipes which were never posted found a niche to be hosted here as well.

I wish to thank each and every one of you separately for adding my cookbook to your side bar.

1) Antonella, of Il luppolo Selvatico, Italy
2) Rosa, of Rosa’s Yummy Yums, Switzerland
3)      Brindusa, of Cooking with My soul, Romania
4)      Xanthi, of Syntages tis Asproulas, Greece
5) Simona, of Alison’s Trials, Romania
6)      Reeni , of Cinnamon & Sprice & Everything Nice, U.S.A.
7) Judy, of Judy’s Kitchen, U.S.A.
8) Anna, of Banana Wonder, U.S.A.
9) Daiana, of Daian’as Kitchen, of Romania
10)   Heni, of Simplicity’s Table by the Sea, Algeria
11)   Eftychia, of Dream of Cakes, Cyprus
12)   Ben, of What’s Cooking, Mexico
13)   Joumana, of Taste of Beirut, U.S.A.
14)   Nadji, of Saveurs et Gourmandises, France

As I promised today I have made a draw using Random.org and the winner is …………………..

Congratulations Ben!!!   Please send me your address so that I can send you a copy of the book.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!!


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