This is one of my favorite recipies - my grandmother used to cook this dish very often in sommer when fresh herbs where available in abundance. This variation of lobio is more interesting than the standard read beans dish common in Georgia or in many other countries because of the addition of tomatoes, various spices, fresh herbs and walnuts. It is served cold or warm, with corn breads, which are usually crumbled or dipped into lobio.
500g red beans, pre-cooked (or a 500g can)
3 medium onions, chopped
4 medium tomatoes (700g)
2 tbsp of vinegar
3 tbsp each of chopped fresh coriander, basil, parsley, tarragon
a pinch of ground cloves
garlic - 3 cloves
¼ cup ground walnuts (optional)
salt, cayenne pepper
In a large heavy-bottomed pot heat the sunflower oil. Sauté the chopped onion over a moderate heat until golden. Add kidney red beans with some boiled water. Simmer gently 5 minutes.
Add wine vinegar that was previously boiled with basil or tarragon for 2-3 minutes.
Make a cross with a sharp knife at the base of each tomato, just to split the skin. Plunge the tomatoes into boiling water for few seconds , or until the cross at the base starts to open up. Remove with a slotted spoon and peel off the skin, which should come away easily with a sharp knife. Cut tomatoes in four pieces. Remove seeds and finely chop the tomatoes. Simmer for another 3-4 minutes.
Add dry Khmeli Suneli mixture (or substitute it with dry coriander), chopped fresh coriander, basil, parsley and tarragon. Stir in crushed garlic.
If you're using walnuts, mix them with garlic, red cayenne pepper and salt and dry spices; dilute the mixture with little wine vinegar and add to the beans before adding fresh herbs. Season with salt and extra basil and coriander leaves. Serves 8