Peruvian borlotti bean and avocado salad recipe
Inspired by the flavours of the Pacific coast, the Andes and the Amazon, this Peruvian borlotti bean salad is vibrant and varied with taste in abundance.
This recipe tastes best using fresh borlotti beans. Borlotti beans are a cheap and healthy source of plant-based protein. If not, tinned is fine. You could also use haricot beans. If you are lucky enough to find fresh borlotti beans, you will also need a bay leaf, half a medium brown onion and two garlic cloves.
Avocado adds a dose of healthy fat to this delicious bean salad recipe. Despite being nearly 30% plant fat, avocados contain no cholesterol and the vast majority of the fat is the monounsaturated kind. You’ll also find this healthier fat in rapeseed and olive oils. It’s essential for the maintenance of our cells, as well as helping to reduce the ‘bad’ form of cholesterol.
The fat in avocados has some anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also thought to lower triglyceride levels (which when raised could make you pre-diabetic), leading to lower levels of cholesterol.
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- Borlotti beans are a cheap and healthy source of plant-based protein.
- Avocado is rich in omega-9 fatty acids, great for healthy skin and hair.
- Beetroot is a good source of folate which may help to boost energy levels.
- 200g borlotti beans, fresh if possible
- 1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced into thin half moons
- 30ml water
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 40ml raw cider vinegar
- 1 medium-hot chilli
- 2cm ginger, scrubbed
- 1 small banana shallot
- 100g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 limes, zest and juice
- 1 medium beetroot, peeled and thinly sliced
- 25ml olive oil
- If you are using fresh borlotti beans, pod them then cover with cold water in a deep pan. Add a bay leaf, onion and garlic, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for about half an hour, or until soft. Season with salt at the end of cooking and leave to rest in the hot water for five minutes. Drain and cool quickly in a large bowl of iced water.
- Pickle the red onion by mixing together the water and sugar, and gently heating until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool before adding the vinegar (that way you will preserve its culture) and mix in the red onion. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Make the salsa by scraping out the seeds from the chilli and finely slicing it. Grate the ginger into the chilli and add the chopped shallot and a couple of chopped cherry tomatoes. Stir in the coriander and mix well. Season, taste and set aside.
- Peel the avocados and chop into 1cm dice. Squeeze in the juice of a lime and season well with salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.
- Stir the remaining lime juice into the borlotti beans, then gently add the tomatoes and avocado.
- Lay circles of beetroot in each dish and top with a large spoonful of the bean mix. Spoon over some salsa then top with a tangle of the bright pink pickled onions. Add some more coriander leaves if you like and finish with some lime zest and a twist of pepper.
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