This simple, but again rich dish, traditionally coming from the Macedonian cuisine, is a real delight, especially if prepared in the earthenware baking pans shown in the photo below. The recipe itself is a certain extended version of the basic roasted bean recipe, originally called "tavche gravche" (lit. pan with beans), which is the hallmark of Macedonian gastro-tourism, served in every home and traditional restaurant.
It asks for some more cooking time, but it's definitely worth the wait!
I mentioned above that these beans with spinach are particularly tasty if prepared in the earthenware dishes and that is absolutely true. These pots give such a specific taste to each dish, that cannot be obtained with the "regular" baking pans. The earthenware is the most ancient form of cookware and it's still used, even with today's modern lifestyle. There must be some good reason, right? :) I won't talk anymore for the features and the ornamentation of earthenware cookware as I could write a whole post just about that... :) I will just gladly recommend you to purchase some of these cooking utensils if you don't have any yet, because you can use them to make some super-delicious meals, to give your dinner table a dash of tradition and bring some folklore in your home...
And now, let's come back to the recipe! :) You'll need the following ingredients:
1. Put beans, minced onions and grated carrot into a pot and add 2 l cold water. Bring it to a boil over the highest heat, then reduce to the lowest and cook with the lid on until beans are soft and tender, but not overcooked: the beans should remain wholes. Do not add any salt at this point!
2. Meanwhile, chop dock leaves. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and add dock. Cook shortly, stirring often, until leaves wilt. Set aside.
4. Pour 3 tablespoons oil into a pot and add flour. Combine until smooth. Start heating the mixture and cook it stirring often until the foam that will form disappears, like shown in this Lentil Soup recipe. Add paprika, combine and add it to the drained beans right away, so that paprika doesn't burn. Combine. Season with some salt and pepper. Add some garlic powder and dried mint, if you wish.
- Mint will give the dish an amazing aroma and will help you digest it more easily.
- Note that if you're using fresh garlic, you should mince it and cook it in the oil for a few seconds, just until it releases its distinctive smell. Then add the flour and the rest of the procedure is the same as described above. I would recommend that you use max. 2 cloves.
5. Divide the mixture between the earthenware pans. I got 3 generous portions out of these ingredients, but it all depends on the pan size. You can use any deep baking pan instead. It will look something like this...