Sunday, September 01, 2013

Lobio Tkemali / "Russian" Red Bean Salad

Way back in the day, a regular feature of my Mum's salad buffets was something called "Russian Red Bean Salad", which involved red kidney beans in a sweet dressing made with damson jam.

Whilst looking through my copy of The Georgian Feast however, I came across a recipe for a Georgian bean salad with a plum sauce dressing, "Lobio Tkemali". The dressing is apparently typical of Georgian cuisine. It would seem that Mum's "Russian" salad is actually Georgian!

Here is a recipe that combines elements of the Georgian version into Mum's version.
  • 2 tins Red Kidney Beans, or Mixed Beans.
  • about 1/4 cup Plum or Damson Jam
  • about 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • a dash of Olive oil.
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed and finely minced.
  • Some fresh Parsley.
  • 3 spring onions.
  • Salt and Pepper to taste.
Drain the tinned beans in a sieve and wash with cold water. Put into a bowl.
Wash and chop the spring onions finely, and add to beans in the bowl.
Wash and finely chop the parsley and add to the bean bowl.
In a small saucepan combine the jam, vinegar, oil and garlic.
Heat gently, stirring until the jam dissolves into the dressing.
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Pour the warm dressing over the beans in the bowl, and mix thoroughly.
Chill before serving.

For the full-on Georgian version, spice it up by adding some finely chopped fresh coriander leaves and dried chilli flakes to the dressing.