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Posted May 10 2009 6:02am
In the Mediterranean, we eat pulses - another word for humble bean. As there are a range of beans to choose from, you could eat a different one each week, and never have the same meal in the same month. See how we cook each one (there are slight variations all over Greece):

fasolia: white (haricot) beans cooked in a red sauce with onion, celery and carrot
fakes: brown lentils cooked in a red onion sauce
fava: split yellow beans boiled with onion and pureed as a dip
mavromatika: balck-eyed beans cooked in a red onion sauce OR boiled for a salad with parsley and onion
revithia: chickpeas (garbanzo) cooked in a white OR red sauce (with or without rice), boiled and pureed for a hummus dip, OR ground and shaped into spicy patties
gigandes: lima beans baked in the oven with carrots and parsley

This bean soup ( fasolada ) was made by putting 1/2 cup of olive oil, a grated onion, some minced garlic, some chopped celery, two peeled carrots sliced into rounds, lots of pureed fresh tomato, salt, pepper and oregano into a pot, with enough water to cover it 2 inches above the ingredients, and letting it cook on the lowest heat for two hours, covered.

Saucy bean dishes are best served with some boiled eggs and cheese. They go especially well with leftover BBQ meat, or any other simple meat dish. When serving the soup, squeeze some lemon juice over the soup for a tangier taste. They are equally delicious during any season.

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