I had visited Harmony Mediterranean Market in Cary a few weeks ago to pick up grape leaves so that I can make dolmas soon, but in the mean time I had some other recipes to try out and needed to find Greek gigantes (giant) beans as well as Egyptian fava beans, or ful (pronounced fool.) I'm also in the market for harissa which I made on my own last May but now I'd like to try what's available commercially.
My first stop Saturday (after an eggs benedict crepe at Crepes and Coffee, that is) was at Around the World Market on Hillsborough Street which looked totally promising. Alas, after wandering through the aisles for about 20 minutes I left empty handed and headed up the street to check out Neomonde, where I've eaten in a bunch of times but never checked out their market place. They had the harissa, but that was it.
I asked the guy at Neomonde's for a recommendation, and he sent me down Method Street to Almdaina Supermarket, where I still couldn't find everything I wanted, but finally ended up getting some packages of beans that I thought were close enough.
For the Greek gigantes beans, I picked up a bag of giant lima beans.
And for the ful, I grabbed these fava beans.
The rest of the stuff is for future recipes, but I used the fava beans yesterday, first soaking them over night.
Drain the beans and cover them with fresh water in a pot. Cook at a low simmer, covered, for about an hour, until tender, and then strain them again (this time reserving the water.)
Combine a small amount of the beans with some of the reserved liquid, mixing with a fork until it creates a thick liquid. Stir in a paste of garlic and salt as well as fresh lemon juice, and then add the remaining beans into the bowl with olive oil.
Serve garnished with scallions, parsley, and lemon wedges.
When I first pulled the lid off the cooking beans I thought they smelled disgusting. But then I completed the recipe and tried a taste and it was amazing. I guess I just don't love the smell of fava beans, but once this was dressed with the olive oil, garlic, and lemon it completely changed things. I'm looking forward to the leftovers.
beans -- $1.99 (most of the bag is left)
scallions -- $.99
lemons -- $1.29 (half a lemon is left)
Total Cost of Egyptian Beans with Olive Oil: $4.27
($1.07 per serving)