Fasole bătută: Transylvanian White Bean Purée & Fried Onions
Fasole bătută is a creamy Transylvanian white bean purée, with a pile of sticky, gooey, sweet fried onions on top. It's traditionally served with sausages and pickles - and home-made bread of course. It makes for a fantastically filling, and simple frugal meal.
Place the cooked beans, water, the whole onion, garlic, carrot, bay leaf, and peppercorns into a large pan or stockpot, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 mins.
While they are simmering, heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy frying pan (e.g. a cast iron skillet), and gently fry the rest of the onions and the sugar over a low heat, until they have started to caramelise. Once cooked, mix in the sweet paprika.
Once the beans are soft enough to purée, remove the pan from the heat, and drain into a colander over a large bowl. (Don't throw away the cooking stock - it's great to use as a soup base.)
Remove half of the the onion, all of the carrot, and the bay leaf from the colander, and place the rest of the 'solids' into a food processor, high-speed blender, or back in the pan if using an immersion blender.
Add the rest of the sunflower oil, and blend until you have a very smooth purée. Add a tablespoon or two of the cooking stock if necessary. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Top the bean purée with the fried onions, and serve with sausages, mixed pickled vegetables, and some fresh bread.
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