Ful Medames: A bean dish for breakfast, brunch or supper

Adapted from Mollie Katzen's Sunlight Café
Preparation time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: 2 hearty servings; 3 to 4 dainty ones
In Egypt, small, purple beans (a fava variety) are a popular street food, frequently eaten in the morning. This is my own version of the traditional Egyptian preparation. It makes a complete breakfast on its own–and an even heartier one when served with scrambled eggs and toast.

  • Fresh fava beans are ideal for this recipe, but you can also use dried or canned favas, or any kind of broad bean or small, plump brown bean (pintos, habas, etc.), dried or canned. If using dried beans, soak and cook them ahead of time. If using canned, rinse and thoroughly drain them ahead of time.

  • Be sure to use a high-quality, flavorful extra virgin olive oil as the seasoning.

You can use a less expensive "virgin" or "pure" olive oil for sautéing.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups cooked fava beans, broad beans, or brown beans (can also be a 15-ounce can, rinsed and drained)
2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 pound plum (Roma) tomatoes–about 3 medium-sized tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil for the top
Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley (a handful)
Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Place a medium-sized sauté pan over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, wait another 30 seconds or so, then swirl to coat the pan. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onion, and sautŽ for 5 to 8 minutes, or until it becomes very soft.
  2. Add the beans and the garlic, and stir gently, so you don't break the beans. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the tomatoes.
  3. Cut the tomatoes in half around the center; squeeze out and discard the seeds. Chop the flesh into 1/2-inch pieces, and add it to the beans. Stir, cover, and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the salt and lemon juice. Cook only a minute or two longer, then dish into bowls. Drizzle each serving with a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkle with coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley. Serve hot, and pass a pepper mill.
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