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What you need to know about COVID-19: August 7, 2020
Ful medames from Falastin.
Falastin by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley.
Our cookbook of the week is Falastin by chef Sami Tamimi and writer Tara Wigley. Over the next three days, we’ll feature more recipes from the book and an interview with the authors.
A classic Egyptian breakfast, ful medames — mashed fave beans scented with cumin and served with warm pita — is likewise a staple in Palestinian homes, says Sami Tamimi. “This is something that we have for breakfast or brunch. It can be eaten any time of the day really. It’s a very, very simple (meal).”
“It’s a really healthy, lovely dish,” adds Tara Wigley. “It’s a good one for people who have a tin of fava beans in their cupboard.”
Here, Tamimi tops the simmered pulses with sumac onions, avocado-tomato salsa and a soft-boiled egg, but the options are many. It can be as pared down or elaborate as you like: “fried eggs, a simple sprinkle of parsley, some chopped spring onions, coarsely grated hard-boiled eggs — they all work well.”
Tart and full of flavour, make the onions ahead of time and store them in the fridge. “You can add them to lots of things,” says Tamimi, “but especially for dishes like ful and hummus where they crave something a little sour.”
3 x 14-oz (400 g) cans cooked fava beans, drained and rinsed (2 3/4 cups/470 g)
3 lemons: squeeze 2 to get 4 tbsp (60 mL) juice and cut 1 into wedges
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 green chili, finely chopped (1 1/2 tsp/5 g)
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground cumin
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced (1/2 cup/60g)
3/4 tsp (3 mL) sumac
1/4 cup (5 g) parsley leaves
1 large avocado, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) dice
1 tomato, cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) dice (1/3 cup/70 g)
2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
4 soft-boiled eggs (optional)
Warm pita bread, to serve
Pour 1 qt (1 L) of water into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the beans and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes, just to warm through and soften up. Drain, reserving about 3 tbsp (45 mL) of the water, and return the beans to the pan. Add the reserved cooking water to the beans, along with 2 tbsp (30 mL) of lemon juice, the garlic, chili, cumin and 3/4 tsp (4 mL) of salt. Using a fork, crush the beans to form a rough mash. Set aside (or keep warm, if eating soon) until needed.
Place the onion in a bowl with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of salt. Use your hands to rub the salt in a bit, then set aside for 10 minutes, for the onion to soften. Mix in the sumac and parsley and set aside until needed.
Put the avocado and tomato in a bowl with the remaining 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) of salt. Mix to combine and set this salsa aside.
Heat up the fava bean mixture, if needed, then transfer it to a large serving platter. Smooth out the surface and make a little well in the centre. Top with the salsa, followed by the onion mixture and drizzle on the oil. Serve as is, with a wedge of lemon to squeeze over, or with soft-boiled eggs on top, if desired, and some warm pita alongside.
Serves: two generously, or four if bulked up with eggs and pita
Playing around: We’ve given the directions for some sumac onions, a simple sauce and a soft-boiled egg but, really, you can go in all sorts of directions; fried eggs, a simple sprinkle of parsley, some chopped green onions, coarsely grated hard-boiled eggs — they all work well.
Dried vs. canned fava beans: We choose to start with canned beans here because they are easier to find than dried and, also, they cook with much more consistency. Dried beans also require peeling, which takes the edge off the quick morning option.
Excerpted from Falastin: A Cookbook by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley. Text copyright © 2020 by Sami Tamimi and Tara Wigley. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020