This minestrone is a more wintery version of the popular soup with pumpkin and mushrooms However, I suspect minestrone soup can have as many variations as the combinations of vegetables and meats that can be found in a refrigerator. It’s a soup that reminds me …
Salt cod with chickpeas is also made in the island of Crete , however, we will be making Bacalao con Garbanzos, a version of the traditional Spanish recipe. This is a healthy, colorful, aromatic dish packed with nutriens from the vegetables, pulses and fish. It …
When preparing beans I usually soak and sprout twice the amount needed for my recipe. Leftover pulses are stored in the freezer for immediate use in another recipe.
What does “sprouting” mean?
First, I wash the pulses well. Then, I soak them in plenty of water, preferably with a little yogurt or kefir serum for 12-24 hours, depending on their type.
The next day, I spread them out in a colander, where I rinse them thoroughly and let them drain. To keep the sink area clear, I rest the colander on a shallow baking tray of the same size. The pan should be shallow enough for the air to circulate freely.
I leave them to sprout for 1-3 days, just covered with a muslin. I make sure to “water” them by rinsing them every 6 hours. I also mix them well, to redistribute them in the colander, as there is more moisture towards the bottom compared to the top.
Once they’ve sprouted, I rinse them well before cooking or storing them in the freezer. On really hot days, I soak & sprout in the fridge.
Why do I put myself (and my beans) through this process?
Mainly because legumes contain nutritional inhibitors that hinder the absorption of nutrients. By soaking, sprouting and cooking or serving with small amounts of meat or fish, you can enrich the meals of young children. They usually eat very small amounts, so every spoonful should be packed with nutrients.
According to the Ministry of Development:
You can find more information in this brochure of the World Food and Agriculture Organization:
Let’s rewarded ourselves for our patience with “Fasolatha” a traditional white bean soup with “apaki” Cretan cured pork.
- 0,5 kg white small beans
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 leeks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper in 3-4 large pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1.5 liters broth
- 200 gr. Apaki or pancetta sliced
- Juice from half a lemon
Soak the beans in plenty of water for 24 hours. Rinse and sprout as described above. It will take 24-48 hours to see the first sprouts.
Heat the oil in a saucepan and gently fry all the vegetables for 5 ‘ to soften along with the bay leaf. Add the cold broth and beans, then bring to the boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer for 30 ‘ to 40 ‘. Check often because with soaking beans cook and soften much faster.
When the beans are done, take out the pepper and some of the bean soup with a ladle. Pour it into the blender and liquidize. Strain back into the bean soup, stir well and bring back to the boil for 5′. Meanwhile, quickly fry the Apaki in a frying pan for 5′ and add the lemon juice at the end. Serve the “fasolatha” soup with a little apaki on every plate.
Respect for food, our own effort and the ingredients that went into it is so important, especially when traditional kitchens give us so many creative things to use leftovers to create a new dish with minimum effort. That is why traditional “fakorizo” is made in …
This is probably considered the simplest, most everyday family meal in Greek families. Even then, a simple dish can have its secrets. Equally loved and loved by children, this starchy soup brings back childhood memories as a comforting and filling dish. Although soaking lentils is …
The island of Sifnos is known for it’s “revithada” a chickpea stew slowly baked in a clay pot overnight with just the pulses, onions and a little olive oil. The resulting dish is so good, it has earned a permanent place on Sunday’s family table throughout the island. The next couple of days see the leftovers reinvented in starters or sides such as “revithorizo” chickpea rice or “refithokeftedes” chickpea patties, the Greek equivalent of the well known falafel.
If you don’t happen to have some leftover revithada around, you can easily recreate the effect by gently simmering a grated onion and 2 drained cans of chickpeas in some seasoned water for about 20 minutes.
- 3 cups of stewed chickpeas, well drained
- 2-3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup of mint or dill, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of oregano
- generous salt and pepper
- 0.5 cup rice flour plus extra for dredging
- olive oil for frying
Grind the cooked chickpeas in the food processor until you have a paste. If the paste is not forming you may need to add 2-3 tbsps of water to help the processor along. Mix in the spring onions, herbs, rice flour and season well. Form small round and flat patties, pass through the rice flour and shake off the excess. Meanwhile, heat the oil well in a deep frying pan and fry the patties for 2-3 minutes per side.
Serve with yogurt or tzatziki or taramosalata.