Thursday, October 20, 2011

Peublo Festival Bean Salad

This comes from E. Barrie Kavasch's (Muskogee Creek/Chicamauga Cherokee/Powhatan Tsenacomoco) informative and important Native American cookbook Enduring Harvests.  The original recipe hails from the Pueblos of New Mexico.  It tastefully combines several beans from the large New World family of legumes; I have made it several times, it is always a favorite.  I've brought it to family gatherings and it is always popular.  It is nothing like the sweet "pickley" bean salads of the southeast--not that there is anything wrong with them--this is just a nice change of pace.  Just don't overcook the green beans.

Pueblo Festival Bean Salad

2 cups cooked pinto beans
2 cups cooked black turtle beans
2 cups cooked green beans
2 large onions, sliced very thin
1 large Green bell pepper, sliced thin
1 large Red bell pepper, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup wild or local honey or sugar
1/2 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp red chili, finely ground(or pre-ground pure chili)
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup fresh epazote or oregano, finely chopped
1/2 cup oil

1.  Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  

2.  Combine all other ingredients except the oil in a smaller mixing bowl.  Stir very well.  Beat in the oil to form a loose emulsion.  Pour the dressing over the bean mixture.  Toss well and let sit for 2 hours to let flavors meld


You can easily change the types of beans that go into this.  Imported garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are grown in southwestern native gardens and make a great combo in this salad.  In northern Mexico, the Pima Bajo grow their own hybrid of the imported Fava bean, those would be good in this as well.

If needed to save time, use canned beans.  Canned green beans will do in a pinch, but the frozen type works better, all you need to do is thaw them out.

Vary the kind of vinegar that is used.  Any type of fruit vinegar works really well.  

Add other types or color of peppers to this.  Roasted green chiles work really well.  Minced Jalapenos, though spicy, work well too.

Use whatever kind of fresh herb strikes your fancy.

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