Would you try a bean cake, potica or bread?

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Andreja Skrabec

The cookbook also includes recipes for bean bread, bean strudel and bean muffins. In addition to the recipes, we can also find proverbs in the Ribnica dialect. Photo: MMC RTV SLO

It started with Bean Day, which was organized for the first time in 2002 by the Hrovača Village Ethnological Tourist Association. It was agreed that each house in the village would contribute a bean dish. Andreja Skrabec, who immigrated to this part of Slovenia after getting married 24 years ago and only then, as she admits, started learning to cook, started making a bean dessert. She rummaged in the cookbooks. The recipe was supplemented and perfected with a lot of imagination, and this is how the recipe for the bean cake was created, which is one of the 69 published recipes.

Bean cake does not require flour, so it is suitable for people sensitive to gluten: “For the cake, I use kidney beans, which we grind into a thick puree as we cook and mix it into the cookie.”

For the cake base we will need eggs, brown sugar, kidney beans, ground walnuts and baking powder. When the biscuit is baked, cut out and spread with plum or other jam and cover with chocolate icing. The recipe is described in more detail in the cookbook.

Lots of options for a good meal
Andreja Škrabec studied the appearance of beans in the Ribnica area. Namely, there are poppy beans, sometimes called hrovat, which probably came to these places 150 years ago. Today the gene bank of the Slovenian Agricultural Institute in Ljubljana owns nine genetic resources from Ribnica. It is characteristic of the pond that it matures a little later, in September.

“I was surprised to find out that before the First World War the fishponds were so heavily cultivated that they even exported them to Italy, and from there it made its way to North Africa. Today we don’t produce enough beans in Slovenia. I hope Kuharica will encourage people to grow more beans because we have good conditions for growing this vegetable which is very healthy. There are no known allergies to it. It seems to me that beans have been somewhat forgotten and underestimated and that’s why I wrote Cookbook.”

Recipe for bean cake
Ingredients:
7 eggs, 120g brown sugar, half a kilo of cooked kidney beans, 200g ground walnuts, 1 baking powder, 350g good quality plum jam or jam, baking butter.
For the packaging and decoration we need: dark chocolate icing, ground walnuts or walnut kernels
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Drain the cooked white beans and puree into a thick puree. Add the sugar to the egg yolk and beat until fluffy. Add the mashed beans, ground walnuts and finally the baking powder. Beat the egg white until stiff and stir into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Bake in a preheated oven at 140 degrees for 20 minutes. Then increase the temperature to 180 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes.

Cool the biscuit well, carefully cut open, spread the bottom part with jam or marmalade and carefully cover with another part of the biscuit. Drizzle with chocolate icing and garnish with walnuts, if you like.

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Beans in all forms
The book contains recipes for well-known, traditional Slovenian dishes made from beans, as well as modern and new recipes. Andreja Škrabec is proud of her recipe for bean potica. The cookbook also includes recipes for bean bread, bean strudel and bean muffins. In addition to the recipes, we can also find proverbs in the Ribnica dialect.

“Ribnica residents are best known for their dried products, but they should also be recognized for their sense of humour. Their language is already special and juicy. The proverbs I put in the book enrich the recipes.”

One of the proverbs says: “Eat the little and the good! Keep it on the menu – beans.”

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