Georgian Kidney Bean Salad (Lobio)


I’ve been cooking out of Olia Hercules‘ cookbook, Mamushka, this past week. This warm kidney bean salad jumped out, and I made it (with the last of the dried red kidney beans in a jar on my shelf. (I simmered them straight from dry, no pre-soak, in salted water with a bay leaf. They took a little over an hour to tenderize.) I also roasted wedges of cabbage and onion to chop and stir in, and it was wonderful. Some feta crumbled in would be delicious too, I think.

Lobio means “beans” in the Caucasus region – Olia calls for a can of red kidney beans, which would certainly streamline the process. This salad was wonderful warm, but is equally delicious cold — and beans always benefit from some time in the fridge to allow them to marinate. As I was out of fennel seed, I used a small-batch Kadhai spice blend (that includes coriander and fennel) from chef Aman Dosanj — if you don’t have these, feel free to adjust the spices to use what you have.

Adapted from Mamushka, by Olia Hercules.

Yields4 Servings

1/4 head savoy or green cabbage

1 onion (yellow, white or small purple)

canola, olive or other vegetable oil

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 1/2-2 cups cooked or canned red kidney beans, drained well

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)

a few sprigs of parsley, chopped

a few sprigs of dill, chopped

1 Tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

salt and pepper, to taste

1

Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the cabbage and onion into wedges (no more than about 2 inches on the thick end for the cabbage, an inch for the onion), spread out on a parchment-lined sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until deep golden and getting dark and crispy on the edges. (Alternatively, chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces to roast, and caramelize the onion on the stovetop after toasting the spices.)

2

Toast the spices in a dry skillet, then grind in a mortar and pestle or spice mill. Put about a tablespoon of oil into the skillet. (The original recipe instructs to caramelize a thinly sliced onion here for the salad, but we have it in the oven with the cabbage… you could do it on the stovetop instead, if you like.) Add the beans and spices and warm them through.

3

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the herbs with the remaining oil and vinegar, then toss in the beans, and chop and stir in the cabbage and onions. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs, if you like. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold.

4

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.

Ingredients

 1/4 head savoy or green cabbage

 1 onion (yellow, white or small purple)

 canola, olive or other vegetable oil

 1 tsp coriander seeds

 1 tsp fennel seeds

 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds

 1 1/2-2 cups cooked or canned red kidney beans, drained well

 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped (optional)

 a few sprigs of parsley, chopped

 a few sprigs of dill, chopped

 1 Tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar

 salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 425F. Cut the cabbage and onion into wedges (no more than about 2 inches on the thick end for the cabbage, an inch for the onion), spread out on a parchment-lined sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt, and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until deep golden and getting dark and crispy on the edges. (Alternatively, chop the cabbage into 1-inch pieces to roast, and caramelize the onion on the stovetop after toasting the spices.)

2

Toast the spices in a dry skillet, then grind in a mortar and pestle or spice mill. Put about a tablespoon of oil into the skillet. (The original recipe instructs to caramelize a thinly sliced onion here for the salad, but we have it in the oven with the cabbage… you could do it on the stovetop instead, if you like.) Add the beans and spices and warm them through.

3

In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the herbs with the remaining oil and vinegar, then toss in the beans, and chop and stir in the cabbage and onions. Sprinkle with more fresh herbs, if you like. Serve warm, or refrigerate and serve cold.

4

Serves 2 as a main, 4 as a side.

Georgian Kidney Bean Salad (Lobio)





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