Sunday, August 10, 2014

Foul - Moroccan Fava Beans

Foul - pronounced like "fool" is a traditional fava bean dish of North Africa. Also called Ful, I've seen it in Moroccan restaurants and if you search the web you'll see it listed as Egyptian. No matter what country claims it, prepare yourself for a hearty, delicious dish made with those magical legumes, fava beans!

Foul is made with dried beans, not the fresh, so it's easy to make it year round. Like so many Mediterranean cuisines, this dish makes the most of basic ingredients and not too many: cumin, lemon, parsley, tomatoes and beans. It's a shockingly great combination. I simply gilded the lily with the feta and olives, but certainly not traditional.

We ate this along with some Swiss Chard sauteed with garlic, coriander and smoked paprika and a dash of balsamic vinegar, which was fantastically good but the photo was not, so it's not yet featured on the blog. But it will definitely be making a future appearance, so look for it. To round it all out, muhammara, some homemade naan, feta and olives completed our meal. It was a Moroccan tapas of sort, and made us pretty happy!

Cook the favas in advance and this will come together really quickly. I soaked them overnight and then cooked them during the time I got ready for work in the morning so they were waiting for me when I got home, easy!

Favas, along with chick peas and lentils, are the only legumes indigenous to Europe, which doesn't always mean anything except I find that they are easier for my body to digest. It could be a complete fallacy, but it's what I tell myself!

Foul - Moroccan Fava Beans
(serves 3-4 depending on what other dishes you serve)

1 cup dried fava beans, soaked for at least 8 hours
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsley, minced
1 lemon, juiced
1 small tomato, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon cumin

Place fava beans in pot with water to cover by at least 2 inches and bring to boil. Cover and turn heat down to simmer and cook for an hour or until beans are tender. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Pop beans out of skin (pinch them on one end and they will slip out). Discard skins and place beans and cooking water in container and set aside.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil over high heat until they begin to turn golden. Add half of the parsley and beans and 1/3 of cooking water and cook 4-5 minutes until water begins to cook off. Add tomato and cumin and stir and cover and allow to cook down for 5-7 minutes. Remove cover and mash about half of the beans. Add lemon juice and season with salt and stir in remaining parsley. Serve warm or at remove temperature with warm pita bread.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Artichoke Ravioli with Tomatoes at Smitten Kitchen
Lemon and Feta Roasted Potatoes at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice
Cholar Dal at Holy Cow

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