Metro Detroit has a very large Lebanese community, especially in the city of Dearborn. Lebanon is a small Mediterranean country with a sea coast, and is bordered by Israel to the south and by Syria to the north and east. Lebanese people began immigrating to the Detroit area in the early part of the twentieth century to work in the auto industry. Another wave of immigrants moved to metro Detroit in the 1980s to escape the Lebanese civil war. Lebanese and Arabic markets opened in and around Dearborn and Detroit to provide Lebanese Americans with ethnic food stuffs for their delicious cuisine. Lebanese food is freshly prepared and uses lots of fresh herbs and vegetables so it has a lot to offer vegetarians looking for flavorful dishes to add to their repertoire of healthy recipes.
Here is an easy Lebanese white kidney bean (cannellini bean) salad recipe. It starts with dried cannellini beans, but canned beans may be substituted. Cannellini beans are readily available around metro Detroit at supermarkets or at local Italian markets like Caprara Bakery in Southgate. Caprara Bakery also carries really good imported extra virgin olive oil that works very well in this dish.
Salatit Fasuliya Hamra
1 C dried cannellini beans, cooked according to package and cooled, or 2 cans of beans
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pinch of cayenne pepper
2/3 C fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
In a bowl, combine lemon juice with ½ cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Whisk together, then taste, and a just olive oil, lemon juice, and adjust seasonings as desired.
Whisk in garlic, and then stir in beans, onions, and parsley until well blended. Taste again and adjust seasonings as needed.
Let sit in refrigerator for at least one hour to allow flavors to marry. Set out a room temperature to take the chill off before serving.
Serves 4-8 depending on whether being served as a main dish or side dish.