This lovely salad is a play on hummus – white beans are mixed with tahini, garlic, and lemon juice for a gorgeous salad. Chickpeas could be used also, for a salad even more closely aligned to hummus.
Once the beans are cooked, it is quite easy to make. While the beans are cooking the pinenuts and spices are toasted and some chilli oil mixed. Once the cooked beans are mixed with the other ingredients, they are allowed to sit for an hour for the flavours to meld and be absorbed by the warm beans.
Verjuice, originally from the Middle East, has been popularised in the West by Australia’s Maggie Beer. Thank you Maggie! Our Verjuice is a little sweeter and more complex than the tradition variety. If you would like to try the Middle Eastern verjuice, seek out ab-ghooreh or hosrum in your Middle Eastern grocery.
White Beans with Tahina | White Bean Tahini Salad
4 cups white beans (cannellini or haricot), soaked overnight
0.25 cups tahini
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
0.33 cup lemon juice
2 tspns cumin seeds
2 Tblspns verjuice (best from your Middle Eastern shop, or use Australian or other verjuice)
2 tspns sweet paprika
0.33 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Tblspn chopped flat leaf parsley
75 g pinenuts
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Drain the beans and rinse. Cook them in plenty of boiling water for 50 minutes or until tender yet still holding their shape. Drain them and keep them warm.
Meanwhile, toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan over medium – high heat until golden and a lovely aroma rises. Remove from pan and keep aside.
Mix the paprika with the olive oil in a small jar and shake well. Place aside. (See the notes below the recipe for alternative ways to make chilli oil or add chilli to the dish.)
Add the pinenuts to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Toast them until turning golden. Be careful not to burn them. Remove from the pan and keep aside.
Place the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, cumin seeds and verjuice in a bowl. Season with sea salt and black pepper and whisk to combine well. Add some warm water from the cooked beans if it needs to be thinned.
Place the cooked and drained beans in a large bowl and while still warm, add the tahini mixture and mix gently. Cover and stand at room temperature for 1 hour or more, for flavours to develop.
Add some of the chilli oil by carefully spooning off the oil from the top of the paprika. Stir in the parsley and 3/4 of the pinenuts.
Plate up, drizzle with a little more chilli oil and scatter the remaining pinenuts. Enjoy!
recipe notes and alternatives
If you have chilli oil, use that instead of making it with the sweet paprika. You can also use a small amount of the oil from the top of a jar of chilli paste – mix it with more olive oil. Or gently heat some chopped fresh or dried red chillies in the oil until just sizzling, then remove from the heat and allow to sit for an hour. Strain before use.