Ensalada 7 Granos (Ensalda de la Abuelita Alejandra)
Every dia de todos santos my mom would take me to la Cancha (market) to buy the ingredients for my grandmother’s favorite recipe “la ensalada de 7 granos.” I loved going with her to pick the grains for the salad. My favorite part was the display of the grains and the free samples of cooked grains from the doñitas (vendor ladies). For my mom this was her way to remember my grandmother. My grandmother had a stand in la Cancha were she sold vegetables from 6 am to 6 pm. I grew up knowing my grandmother through this recipe since I never got to meet her. My mom would talk a lot about her from when we were on our way to get the ingredients to the time she would set the table with the salad. So since my earliest memories, I have called this salad “La ensalada de la abuelita alejandra” It brings happy memories of my mom and my grandmother.
1/2 cup kidney beans
1/2 cup pinto beans
1/2 cup canolini beans
1/2 cup black beans
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup fava beans
1/2 cup cooked barley
1 vidalia onion (or red onion)
1 large tomato
2 tbsp chopped cilantro (or Quilquina)
1 jalapeno pepper without the seeds (you can use half a green pepper)
3 tbs olive oil
1 tbs cider vinagrette
salt and pepper
You can find all the ingredients canned except the barley.
Soak 1/4 cup of barley a night before and cook until soft. Rinse and let it cool
Meanwhile peel the fava beans (since the canned fava beans come with the skins on). In bolivia we eat them with the skin but the here the canned version’s skin is too hard.
Rinse the other beans and put them together in a large bowl. Add the barley and fava beans.
Dice the onion, tomatoes and pepper.
Added to the bean mix and top with the cilantro or quilquina and mix slightly
Wisk together the oil vinegar, salt, and pepper and add to the mix before serving.
You can serve it just as a salad or as a side. It goes really well with steak. You can add or switch any bean and replace it with what you have on hand.
The last time I was in Bolivia, I went to market with my mom and took this photo. This is how cooked beans are sold in the markets and how they beautifully arranged in their own fabric bag. You can buy any type of cooked bean or corn.