Romanian White Bean Dip – Fasole batuta


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Serves: 4

A creamy, garlicky, vegan white bean dip, topped with delicious tomato-paprika onions, Romanian fasole batuta.

  • For the dip:
  • 250 g/ 8.8 oz white beans (See note *)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, to taste
  • salt
  • For the topping:
  • 75 ml/ ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • salt
  • some more oil to drizzle, optional
  • fresh parsley, optional
  • more sweet paprika to sprinkle
  1. Rinse the beans and place them in a large bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak overnight. Rinse again, place in a large bowl, cover with plenty of water, add the halved onion and the bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cook for about 1 hour or until the beans are soft. The cooking time will greatly depend on the size and age of the beans so keep checking.
  2. Drain the beans but keep the cooking water. Discard the onion and the bay leaves. Leave the beans to cool slightly, then place them in the food processor together with about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and two tablespoons vegetable oil. Add the grated garlic cloves (I prefer to grate the garlic myself before giving it to the food processor, just to make sure I will not bite on some larger pieces of garlic later). Process until they are really smooth, scraping down from the food processor walls a few times in between. Add more cooking liquid, a little at a time, to get the right consistency, it should be like a really thick crème fraiche or softer mashed potatoes. Add salt to taste, I am generous with the salt here, but keep tasting until it is right for you.
  3. To make the topping: halve the onions and slice the halves into thin half rings. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan. Add the onions and ½ teaspoon salt and cook gently for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. When the onions are golden, add the tomato paste, sugar and paprika powder and stir for further 2 minutes, until well combined and slightly caramelized.
  4. Transfer the beans to a bowl or a serving platter and top with the onions. Drizzle with more oil if desired and sprinkle with parsley and sweet paprika. If served as a dip or bread spread leave to get cold. If served as an accompaniment to sausages, meatballs or any kind of fried meat, serve it straight away, while still warm. Don’t forget the pickles: cucumber, green tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers and so on.
Cook more than the beans needed for this recipe – you can easily freeze the rest for future use (soups, stews, salads) and cooking a lot at a time saves time and energy as well. You can even freeze the cooking liquid for making more dip or soup in the future.