Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beans in Pumpkin Seed Cream, Courtesy of Weinhof Wieninger's Chef Mike

If you're following along at home, you may recall that in my post describing my wine-soaked visit to the Wieninger Heuriger in Vienna,  I promised to share one of the recipes that Chef Mike generously gave me. You remember Chef Mike (Miriam, this gratuitous shot is for you):
 You're welcome.

Now, you might think that "pumpkin seed cream" sounds a little heavy,  but this dish is actually quite light. (In fact, even his baked gnocchi in pumpkin cream is much lighter than you would think it would be, thanks to a little secret he divulged to me. But that's another post!)

The unique flavors of this dish - a combination of sourness and heat and toasty nuttiness - would really jazz up the usual tired, pedestrian line-up of mayo-based salads that you tend to find at every summer barbecue.  It's simplicity itself, and it all hinges on one thing: high-quality toasted pumpkin seed oil, which, as it turns out, is an Austrian specialty:

It's the oil that gives the cream that fresh, light green color, and imparts (when used in moderation) a beautiful umami undertone and "Oh yum, what is that?" flavor. Chef Mike didn't write down the amounts, as this is usually made in large batches - he said to just taste it.  Which I did. And .... mmmmm.

Beans in Pumpkin Seed Cream

Medium-sized (20 oz) can broad beans, aka fava beans 
(Note: Chef Mike said to use canned "salad beans."  We had a bit of a language barrier figuring out exactly what type of beans he meant, but the slight punkiness of fava beans worked perfectly with the other ingredients. He prefers canned in this dish for the texture, but I think fresh fava beans, when you can get them, would be great as well.)
2 heaping tbsp sour cream
1/2 tbsp toasted pumpkin seed oil
1 tbsp mayonnaise (Please don't use mass market brands; try to get organic or make your own. You don't want that sugary taste you find in so many mayos; you should be able to taste the olive oil in it.)
1 heaping tsp hot mustard (actually Chef Mike said to use "estragon," a type of Austrian hot mustard, which you can order here.)
salt & pepper, to taste

Mix together all of the ingredients except the beans and adjust to taste. No one ingredient should dominate. Add to the beans and toss - that's it! It's simple to make, but the taste is anything but. 

Thanks Chef Mike!





32 comments:

  1. What a great recipe! Now, where can I get that oil? Whole Foods?

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  2. wow what great memoroies you just gave me, my mom loved fava beans and she would have loved your recipe as well, I have never tried them these look so creamy and delcious!

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  3. Wow, such an interesting dish...sounds really delicious!

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  4. Hahahaha!!! Thanks Trix, you're a real friend, I do appreciate the photo... And this pumpkin oil sounds reeeeeeaally interesting, I must say.

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  5. I love this recipe--(anything with mayo in the mix!) So, now I really need to get pumpkin seed oil! Well, and fava beans, which, initially I was like, ewww. So maybe I need to give them a try. Where did you get your oil--please don't tell me in another country because that won't be something I do anytime soon! What a "cutie-patutie" that chef is!

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  6. Sharlene & Kelly - No worries, this is one ingredient I didn't smuggle back. I got the oil at Fresh Market. I'm sure any gourmet-type store would have it. (Though my Whole Foods didn't, boo.)
    @Miriam - Lol! Anything for a friend ; )
    @Pegasus & Juliana - Thanks!

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  7. I had forgotten but yeah knew pumpkin seed oil is typical Austrian. The whole recipe make me want to put on my leiderhausen and go sing ' the hills are alive....lalalalala!'

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  8. this oil, from pumpkin seeds, I think it would liven up BBQ salads with a nutty flavor - now I just need to find some.....

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  9. Hmm looks great! I love the fact that you managed to come back with authentic recipes! I actually never tried pumpkin oil, but I'm sure it adds a definite unique flavor and La Tourangelle have so many kinds of oils!

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  10. Too pretty to eat lovely! I must try this pumpkin oil.

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  11. I've never seen pumpkin seed oil. I can't wait to hunt it down!

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  12. Trix
    I have been eagerly waiting for you to post this dish! How nice of the chef to share his recipe, I am sure your charm played a part in his decision! (you know, European men!)
    Anyway, interesting about this oil! I thought it was going to be actual pumpkin! That's a shortcut too!

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  13. I love fava beans. Never tasted toasted pumpkin seed oil before but judging by the taste of toasted pumpkin seeds, I'd say this will be absolutely gorgeous!

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  14. Oooh, look at that pumpkin seed chef, I mean, cream. We eat toasted pumpkin seeds for Chinese New Year. :) Never though of using the oil. Have to hunt that down!

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  15. What an interesting dish! I have seen pumpkin seed oil on the shelves here in BG... it must be fate! I wonder if you could toss in some roasted pumpkin seeds too???

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  16. I agree, I want to try this oil. Deborah at a doctor's kitchen got me hooked on macadamia oil... I am becoming an oil junkie, oh no!!! Whole Foods used to carry frozen favas which were the best thing ever (no peeling)
    this looks like is is worthy of the effort.. thanks for sharing Trix!!

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  17. What a pretty little dish, and the flavor sounds so interesting! You definitely surprised me - from reading the ingredients, I can tell it's a lot lighter than it looks- nice!

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  18. This looks delicious. The pumpkin seed oil must add a great depth to the flavour.Thanks for posting.

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  19. Wow. Need to see if I can get that oil. looks so delicious and creamy!!! Cant wait to hear this secret! You're a tease lol!!

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  20. wow, where do you even get pumpkin seed oil? I'll have to look for this at Whole Foods and try this. Looks so good!

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  21. Pumpkin seed oil sounds delicious. I can imagine its nutty flavor even though I've never tried it. The beans look fantastic!

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  22. Definitely un-pedestrian. I would love to discover this at a summer barbecue, smuggling the whole plate back to my seat and refusing to share with anyone else.

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  23. Pumpkin seed oil sounds really intereseting, I've never had that before! I think I need to go out grocery store hunting for that here in Paris.

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  24. Beautiful dish. I would love to have that pumpkin seed oil. I actually love the label. :)

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  25. Fascinating and gorgeous dish. Now I'm going to have to hunt up some pumpkin seed oil. As to the canned salad beans, I'm thinking he might have meant cannellini beans? Think so? I have some of those around I'm raring to try this.

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  26. Hey there @Kathy! Definitely not cannellini beans, I'm afraid. I actually had the dish there (sounds dumb that I don't know the bean right?) and it was sort of like a big lima, but not exactly like a canned bean I've ever had. Perhaps some Viennese canning wizardry at work? But feel free to try it and tell me how it works!

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  27. LOL on the "gratuitious" shot of Chef Mike. (I also appreciate it :-) Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. Like Claudia, my Italian mom and aunt often made bean salads and this is an outstanding idea for a new and exciting flavor. Looking forward to getting my hands on the toasted pumpkin seed oil and the estragon!

    Cheers and congrats on a well-deserved Foodbuzz Top 9 :-)

    ~Cleo

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  28. ooo, never heard of pumpkin seed oil. very nice dish! :)

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  30. Oh my gosh! I have to get my hands on some of that oil. This recipe is to die for, lady!

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  31. Stunning! I have some pumpkin seed oil but never knew what to do with it. This is a lovely recipe!

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  32. too old post but unique and new think.... Thanks for share and keep it up.

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