"This dish is based on the Italian dish of beans braised in garlic and tomatoes; umido simply means 'wet' or 'damp', and translates to a kind of tomato-based stew," says Louis Couttoupes of Canberra's Bar Rochford. "I separated the components and made a rich stew-like sauce to top char-grilled Roman beans that are all crunch and smokiness. The longer you cook the sauce, the better it gets."
- 100 gm blanched almonds
- 50 gm crustless sourdough
- ½ garlic clove
- 150 ml vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice, or to taste
- 500 gm Roman beans, trimmed
- Roasted flaked almonds, to serve
- 500 gm cherry tomatoes
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 125 ml (½ cup) dry white wine
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1Preheat oven to 240°C. For umido, toss tomato and thyme in 2 tsp olive oil on an oven tray, season with salt and roast until soft (15-25 minutes). When cool enough to touch, pinch off skins and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper, reserving tomato flesh. Reduce oven to 100°C and cook skins until dehydrated into a crunchy garnish full of tomato flavour (optional; 3-4 hours). Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over lowmedium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft but not browned (10-15 minutes). Deglaze pan with wine, scraping base of pan, then add oregano, smoked paprika, fennel seeds, bay leaf, and reserved tomato flesh. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring regularly to avoid catching, until reduced by half (10-20 minutes).
- 2Increase oven to 150°C. Roast blanched almonds, turning occasionally, until light golden (10-15 minutes). Soak bread in 125ml water (5-6 minutes), then squeeze out excess water, transfer to a food processor with almonds and garlic and blend to a coarse paste. Increase speed and slowly add 200ml water, blending until smooth, then with the motor running, add vegetable oil, until mixture thickens slightly. Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.
- 3Preheat a barbecue or char-grill pan to high heat and grill the beans, turning occasionally, until charred (2-3 minutes). Toss beans in a bowl with umido. Spread almond purée on a platter and top with beans, tomato skins and toasted almonds.