- greased non-stick springform pan,
- bottom inside 18 cm,
- raised edge 7 cm
- white beans from a tin,
- net weight about 750 g
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1 tsp dried savory
- or fresh herb to taste
- 350 g white bread flour
- 150 ml cooking liquid from the beans
- 50 ml olive oil
- about 50 ml lukewarm water
- 6 g salt
- oil for brushing
At a meeting in the Vredespaleis (Peace Palace) in The Hague I met Gazmend Barbullushi, ambassador of Albania. The cuisine of his country, during the regime of Hoxha for a long time isolated from the world, is regrettably almost unknown to the rest of Europe. This situation I presented to the ambassador. Not long after that he was so kind to send me 1000 Receta gatimi (Tiranë, 2008) written by Evgjeni Harizi with the announcement that I could always ask his help for the translation of a recipe from this authoritative cookbook.
When looking at the pictures and the names of the dishes you can see how joyful Albanians are cooking. You see Turkish as well as Italian or French influences, but when it comes to pastry they are choosy: Albanian. I chose Petanik me fasule from Korçe in South East Albania (Petanik means layered). People there are rightly proud of this sustainable vegetarian pie, a kind of pancake tart. I got the promised help, also from Mrs. Edlira Barbullushi, who told me that you can definitely not use filo pastry, because that will become mushy by the bean liquid.
- Warm the beans in their cooking liquid. Leave to drain in a sieve over a bowl. Sauté the chopped onions in the oil. Mix with beans and herb.
- Knead a supple dough from flour, cooking liquid, water and salt. Be sure it does not become stiff. Leave to rest for 2 hours, covered with a moist cloth.
- Preheat the oven to 200˚C/400˚F/gas 6.
- Divide the dough into 10 balls (55-60 g). Roll out these balls into 22-24 cm circles on an unfloured work surface. Dry 9 dough circles in a hot frying pan with thick bottom. They will shrink a bit.
- Place each circle of dough into the springform pan, brush with some oil and cover with a thin layer of beans. Put the undried circle on top, pleat the edge upwards. Brush with water.
- Bake 40-45 minutes on the lowest shelf.
Side dish: Beet salad (Sallate panxhari)
- For 4 persons: peel 4 cooked red beets, halve and cut into slices. Mix with 4 tbsp oil, 4 tbsp vinegar, 4 crushed cloves of garlic and pepper and salt to taste; on top peeled segments of 4 oranges. Garnish: green olives.