Salty Snack - Lupini Beans
Researching recipes was interesting. The lupini bean, although Italian, it is popular in the Mediterranean countries and is usually eaten as a salty (bar) snack. The only hitch to cooking this bean is the length of time it takes to produce an edible product. Apparently it is very bitter and can be toxic if the bitterness is not removed.
So it is a good news, bad news story. The bad news is that it is the ultimate slow food. It can take up to two weeks to soak out the bitterness before they can be enjoyed. The good news is that they are second only to soybeans for protein content in a lentil or bean. They are a healthy, high fibre, high protein food.
They are called tremoços in Portugal, altramucaes in Spain, tarmose in Egypt and lupins in Australia. But in all these different regions, they are usually eaten as a salty snack. They remind me of a fava bean. There is a tougher outer skin that must be discarded so you can eat the tender insides. There is a little hole on one edge of the bean that allows you access to remove the outer skin.
After the bean is sufficiently cooked and soaked, it is stored in a brine in the refrigerator and can keep nicely for more than 2 weeks. To serve as a snack, drain the desired amount of beans, drizzle with olive oil and top with freshly ground black pepper, garlic or herbs.
My beans did require the requisite two weeks of soaking to remove the bitterness. Today we taste tested this salty snack. It was a hit! My bread baking class all gave them the thumbs up. This is my new healthy summer snack.
If anyone has any great ideas on serving the lupini bean, please leave a comment. I have still most of a bag of dried beans!