Traditional Romanian white bean spread with loads of garlic and a topping of caramelized onions with smoked paprika and tomato paste.
250 grams dry white beans (or substitute 3 cans drained)
6 cloves of garlic
3 large onions
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Sunflower oil or other neutral oil
Salt to taste
If using dry beans, soak the beans overnight for 8 – 10 hours. Drain, put in a pot of fresh water and boil for about 90 minutes or until fork tender.
While the beans are cooking, slice 3 onions into strips and add to a skillet with about a tablespoon of sunflower oil.
Cook the onions medium-low heat for about 20 – 30 minutes, stirring every so often so they don’t cook unevenly.
Once the onions have reduced down and browned, add 2 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika if you like a little bit of heat, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, and a 1/4 of a cup of water. Mix well and continue cooking for a few more minutes until it thickens and looks like a sauce.
Returning to the cooked beans, process the beans with the garlic in a food processor until they’re very smooth, adding a tablespoon at a time of sunflower oil and water to help smooth out the mixture.
To serve, spread some of the whipped bean and garlic mixture in a relatively flat bowl and then spoon some of the caramelized onion topping over it. Eat with fresh bread.
You shouldn’t need to use more than 3 or 4 tablespoons each of water and oil to whip the beans. You can use more but keep in mind the more water you add, the more you dilute the flavour. Adjust salt accordingly.
Keywords: Romanian, bean spread, bean dip, vegan, vegetarian, beans