This dish celebrates some of South America’s best and most emblematic flavours – beans, pumpkin, sweetcorn and tomatoes. It’s wholesome, warm, comforting, a fabulous healthy option that is vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free and it looks beautiful too.
Porotos granados is the name in Chile for the Borlotti beans so widely used in Italian dishes and they also go by the name of Cranberry beans in some places around the world. Mounds of these pretty pink beans can be found in Chilean fruit and vegetable markets from around January to May each year; then you can buy the shelled, dried beans during the rest of the year.
- 1kg porotos granados (weight in their pods; once podded, the uncooked weight is around 380-400g) , removed from their pods and cleaned (you can substitute around 450g of ready-cooked beans from cans or cartons if you prefer)
- I medium onion, diced
- Sunflower oil (or your choice of vegetable oil)
- 300g of diced, peeled pumpkin
- 250g of cooked sweetcorn kernels
- 2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Basil (fresh or dried)
- Oregano (fresh or dried)
- Put the beans in a pan, cover them with water and cook until soft. Keep the water. If using ready-cooked beans, obviously skip this step.
- Meanwhile put the oil in a pan and cook the onion until it softens. Add the pumpkin and cook until soft. The original recipe I used suggested 4 tablespoons but I prefer to reduce the amount of oil so I just start with a little oil, then add a splash of water, stock or white wine whenever the vegetables start to stick.
- Add the beans, sweetcorn, tomatoes and enough of the bean water to make the dish quite liquidy.
- Add salt, pepper, oregano and basil to taste. You might want to give it a bit of pep with some merquén or other type of chilli powder or sauce.
- Cook until the pumpkin has mushed into the water and you have a thick yellow bean stew.
This dish can be made a day ahead, in which case the flavours will meld together even more. You can also freeze it.
I’d put this hearty dish with a light-bodied red wine like País or Cinsault, such as Bouchon’s País Salvaje or Koyle Don Cande Cinsault or perhaps even Pinot Noir – check out Schwaderer Wines’ Pinot Noir for a fruity, creamy tipple. If you prefer a white, look for one with some body and creamy texture, perhaps a Chardonnay, such as Veramonte Ritual or Pandolfi Price’s Los Patricios if you can lay your hands on a bottle. If you fancy something really different, check out a characterful rosé such as Catrala’s rosé or a fruity and textured orange wine like Amber from Attilio and Mochi.