Who could fault the humble bean - providing us with a rich source of protein when combined with rice or bread and fulfilling a satisfying visual need for all things radical and red during these calamitous times.
The gazpachomOnk presents another radical red dish - popular amongst certain latin American and Caribbean countries, favoured for its colour, availability and of course its spiciness. The whole meal takes no more than about 10 mins to make, or the same time it takes to chant something accusatory outside your local Casta headquarters.
Times - they-are-a-changing - and as the world contemplates its devastating impact on mother earth and the consequences of a predominantly meaty diet - the mOnk counters this disastrous culinary cul-de-sac with a simple 10 minute solution to hunger, deforestation and the contemporary citizen's absence of fibre.
And so, to the humble bean - that although loved and cherished by many cultures across the globe - should be cooked and prepared with a warning: beans can be pretty toxic, especially red kidney beans. So you may want to play it safe and instead of soaking and cooking them, buy the jars in which they come already cooked. Here in Spain, these can be found in most supermarkets at a reasonable price. Obviously its cheaper to cook your own, but do take care in boiling them for the mandatory time periods.
You'll also need for this radical recipe:
In this great libertarian dish, we are going to be tossing in amongst the beans, any vegetables we have hanging around the kitchen. The great thing about this dish is that it will always taste a little different, according to the ingredients on hand. Like all good radical recipes, the outcome depends on the contributors. Today, I'm using carrots cut up into small chunks, onions, garlic and a few mushrooms that were hanging around, chatting amongst themselves and looking a little suspicious.
Whilst scouring for and preparing the veggies, open up the jar of beans and rinse them under the tap.
Leave the beans to one side to drip dry, then start frying up the onions and mushrooms, adding cumin and chilli's according to taste.
Once the onions start to go a toasty brown colour, throw in the garlic and carrots. If they complain, remind them its for the good of the people. When everything starts to go soft, add the beans and chopped lettuce or spinach. Now, whilst we are talking about green elements (of which globally we still don't talk about enough) prepare that green salad. Check on the rice too. Don't forget it sitting over there by itself looking lonely - and possibly by now - a little stuck to the pan.
We are almost done! If it's beginning to dry out, add a little fruit juice to sweeten the taste, or a little red wine if you prefer something a little stronger. Keep the movement alive!
There is nothing wrong with ingredients that revolt in a radical recipe...
Finally, get out the potato masher - or failing that a fork - and begin to mash everything into one gungy looking mess. It may begin to look revolting - but there is nothing wrong with ingredients that revolt in a radical recipe.
Now sit everyone down, serve them each a portion on a plate with salad/bread/rice as preferred - each according to their needs - and revel in the radicalness of red recipes.
Oh...and do make a lot, because despite appearances, its got a catchy taste and should there be any left tomorrow, it'll make a superb dip.