Moroccan White Bean Salad
Aliza Green, Philadelphia-based chef and culinary tour leader, presents new recipes to try.
Giant White Bean Salad with Moroccan Chermoula Dressing
Bean salads taste best when made with highly flavored condiments. This paprika-colored salad includes bold accents from Morocco like hot paprika, preserved lemon, cumin, and nigella seeds. Substitute cannellini beans if you can’t find the Emergo beans or the Greek Gigandas beans. Make this salad into a main dish by topping with canned tuna in olive oil.
- 1 pound 2 cups dried white Emergo or Gigandas beans cooked and drained
- 2 tablespoon nigella seeds
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice about 2 lemons
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons sweet Spanish paprika
- 2 teaspoons hot paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground toasted cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 preserved lemon purchased or homemade
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves about ¼ bunch, substitute Italian parsley or combine both
- Prepare the white Emergo or Gigandas beans (see note). Reserve.
- In a heated dry skillet, toast the nigella seeds, shaking constantly until their aroma is released, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Reserve.
- Using a hand-held or standard blender, blend the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic. When smooth and creamy, blend in the sweet and hot paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Scrape off and discard the pulp and white pith from the preserved lemon; finely dice the lemon. Pour the dressing over the beans and toss with most of the nigella seeds, most of the cilantro and most of the lemon. Serve the salad garnished with the remaining nigella seeds, cilantro, and lemon.
Prepare the white Emergo or Gigandas beans by soaking overnight in water to cover. Drain and rinse and then simmer in 6 to 8 cups vegetable stock or water with a celery rib, carrot, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, and a few sprigs fresh thyme until tender. Add salt when the beans are three-quarters cooked. If salt is added to early, it will harden the beans and keep them from absorbing the liquid. Cool before draining. Reserve.