Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spanish Judion Beans from Avila

By Kathryn Washburn Breighner

Several years ago, we were making a dish with kidney beans and the only kind available at our local grocery store was a somewhat pricey Michigan grown bean. It was outstanding and for the first time, we understood the difference in dried beans.

We were in Avila, Spain a few months ago, a walled city in a region known for their dried beans. I brought back 2 kilos of them, a large lima and a kidney bean. Today, I prepared a tapas-like lima bean dish similar to a tapas we had in Spain. We were wowed by the beans: huge, meaty, sweet, fabulous.  We won't be buying generic dried beans again.  There are no words to describe how spectacular these beans are.

For this dish, I soaked 1 c of the Judion beans for about 6 hours. To a pot, I added the beans covered by 1" of water and:
1/2 large onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
several sprigs of fresh thyme
These simmered for 30 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, add:
2 T olive oil, heated, then mixed with
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/2 c chopped red pepper
the remaining onion half, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt of canned tomatoes drained (I used tomatoes I canned from my garden)
1 t smoked Spanish paprika
salt and pepper to taste

Bring this to a simmer. To it add the beans and the bean water and spices.  Cover and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 15-20 minutes.

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