Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lupini beans

I went to a middle-Eastern market last week, mostly because I wanted to get some pomegranate molasses. I wandered through the very few aisles of the store and found a package of what were labeled "lupin" beans. I asked the proprietor about them. He said, "You will not like. Very sour."

Well, you know me, that became a challenge I had to assume. It turns out that, like everything else, there are numerous recipes online for what are apparently more commonly called "lupini." I picked one and followed it fairly closely. Who wants to futz around with something that takes nearly a week to prepare? Yours truly chose to.

There's some alkali sort of thing in the beans and it takes a great deal of simmering and soaking to get it out. Was it worth it? From the standpoint of a curiosity, yes; but from the standpoint of repeating it, no. The results are chewy, a fact that I find satisfying; they supposedly have nutritional value rivaling that of soy beans. The skins are edible and dense, but I don't mind.

I can't tell you you must try this. I'm just reporting here.

Lupini beans
1 pound lupini beans
kosher salt as needed
freshly chopped rosemary
olive oil
black pepper
lemon juice

Ok, buckle down. Soak the beans in plain water overnight (refrigeration not necessary).

Next day: drain and rinse the beans in a large colander. Place in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour. Drain in the colander and rinse with cold water until cooled. Put them back into the pot and cover with water to which you've added 1 tbsp salt for each 2 cups. I used 5 cups water, therfore 2 1/2 tbsp salt. Refrigerate overnight. Repeat the simmering and salting process each day for 5 days, at which point they should taste good nad be tender enough to eat.

I added an extra simmer at the end because I wanted to further tenderize the beans. They are pretty chewy but quite satisfying.

They can be eaten room temperature or warmed and dressed with olive oil, chopped rosemary (or tarragon), lemon juice and pepper. You won't need salt. They aren't salty after all the brining, but they just don't seem to need any more of it.

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