This is a Lenten dish I serve on Good Friday, when even olive oil is banned from the table. If you don’t like tahini, substitute 4 tablespoons fruity olive oil, and omit the wine or water.
Makes 4 to 6 servings (more…)
Athanasia Moraiti, my late mother in law, cooked the mottled fresh cranberry beans together with potatoes and peppers, a combination I had not considered until I tasted it, and loved it. I was under the impression that shelled beans and potatoes were not the best combination for a hearty stew, but I was wrong.
Fresh cranberry beans, called handres (beads), are sold frozen in Greece; they are delicious and cook very fast. Dried beans of any kind, not just cranberry, can also be used for this dish.
Feta cheese, with its salty-sour taste, complements ideally this as any bean stew.
On Saturday evenings, women on Sifnos and other Cycladic islands bring to the communal bakery their specially marked clay casseroles filled with soaked chickpeas that have been doused in fruity olive oil and seasoned with oregano or bay leaves. Covered, and often sealed with a piece of dough, the casseroles are set in the wood-burning oven, where they cook slowly all night. On Sunday morning, as the women return to their homes from church, they collect the pots and serve the tender, fragrant chickpeas for lunch, accompanied by olives and/or salted sardines and crusty bread to soak up the delicious juices. This recipe is my adaptation of the chickpeas KalomiraVrondamiti serves at her tavern, on the picturesque Vourkari marina, in Kea.
Serves 6-8 (more…)