August 5th marks the beginning of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, and we’re ready to watch and cheer on all our national teams and athletes to gold! From the opening ceremonies, the parade of nations and the lighting of the Olympic torch, few things can match the international spectacle of the Olympics. One of the best parts of the entire week is the exposure to new cultures from around the world that most of us would normally never know about. That’s what makes this time of year the perfect time to try some international cuisine. Here are some of our favorite bean dishes from around the world, each bringing their own unique spin on the earthy, nutritious goodness of beans!
Feiojada is a classic dish originating from Portugal, though most typically associated with former Portuguese colonies such as Brazil in modern times. At its roots, Feijoada is a take on rice and beans, with the addition of chorico sausage and a blend of spices to incorporate the traditional heat of South American cuisine. This recipe is a personal favorite of international superstar chef Emeril Lagasse. Try if for yourself to take your own trip to Rio this Olympic season!
Representing Middle Eastern cuisine is Mujadara, a lentil-based dish that has been a staple of the region for centuries. To give it a uniquely Randall twist, we substituted a jar of Randall Garbanzo Beans, rinsed and drained, for the brown lentils (of course, omitting the water that the dry lentils are cooked in). The other big player in Mujadara is the big helping of grilled onions that help add bite and sharpness to the dish, all while giving a varied texture to the whole. Pair the finished recipe with plain Greek yogurt for a culinary meeting between Middle Eastern and Mediterranean tastes!
Speaking of Mediterranean tastes, gigantes plaki is about as Greek as a dish can get, so says the maker of this recipe, The Greek Vegan. Essentially a Greek version of baked beans, this recipe incorporates some flavors you’d likely never see in American baked beans, including mint, parsley and Greek olive oil. Unless you live near an international market or a grocer with a great Mediterranean section, you might not be able to find Greek gigantes beans very easily – so we substituted our rinsed and drained Randall Great Northern Beans to create a truly international flavor experience. If you’re even more adventurous, try topping the finished dish with crumbled feta for an even wider flavor profile!
Do you have a favorite exotic recipe featuring beans that you’d like to share? Submit a recipe to Randall Beans and we may feature it in an upcoming blog!