This is a lower-carb vegetable-based bean replacement that you can enjoy as a part of the dish Pabellón Criollo or as a side with another dish of your choosing. You may also use it as a filling for Pupusas con Chicharrón o “Queso”. It is seasoned in the style of Venezuelan black beans, called caraotas negras. Using eggplant yields a firmer texture than zucchini, but both taste great. See here for an alternative recipe that is starchy and has a more robust texture.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 8 oz (225 g) bacon
- 1½ lb (680 g) zucchini, sliced, or eggplant, cubed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp (7 g) cumin
- 1½ tsp (3 g) dried oregano
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) molasses
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tbsp (16 g) tapioca starch
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) water or Chicken Broth
- Fine Himalayan salt, to taste
- In a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it is crispy, 8 to 12 minutes depending on the thickness. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the bacon fat in the skillet.
- Cook the zucchini or eggplant in the rendered bacon fat. You may need to add additional fat if using eggplant, because it really soaks it up. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes for zucchini and 10 to 15 minutes for eggplant.
- Add the onion, pepper, cumin, oregano, molasses and vinegar to the pan and cook for about 5 more minutes. In a small bowl, create a slurry of the tapioca starch and water (or broth), pour it into the pan and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Transfer the contents of the pan and the crispy bacon to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.