This recipe is connected with a childhood memory. It is a memory of love and feeling safe, and as I got older I understood that sometimes behind the creativeness of meals is essentially the scarcity of ingredients and the urge to feed your family. This is a traditional recipe from Macedonia and it is actually a very modest dish with small number of ingredients, but on the other hand a very nutritious. It was often prepared to me by my grandmother. As she had survived two world wars, and great famines she was very innovative with food preparations. In other words, she could have made something out from nothing.
In this recipe the balance between the water and the beans it is very important, as the beans have to be boiled before they are baked in the oven. If the beans stay to long in the oven, they can become dry. Whenever preparing this recipe, my grandmother always had in mind to put more beans than water. Before sautéing the mixture, my grandmother used to take out the additional beans, mash them, put a small amount of oil and crushed pepper and serve that to me. I loved the taste of the beans, the warmth and the tanginess of the mash, but I think what I loved the most it was the ritual of the preparation.
This recipe is my safe place and I usually prepare it when I want to serve a great dish to people that I love.