Louvi, as we call it in Cyprus, are the black eyed beans. Although the word “louvi” is ancient Greek from lovion, plural lovia (λόβιον, πλ. λόβια), in Greece this word is not used any more. Instead, they are called fassolia mavrommatika, which means black-eyed peas.
In Cyprus the dried ones are called louvi xero and and when they are still green and tender they are called louvi fresko, whereas in Greece they are called ambelofassoula.
Louvi fresko can be eaten as a main dish but also as a salad to accompany other dishes.
Dried legumes are among the most nutritious foods available, because they are a good source of protein and can be a healthy substitute for meat, (which of course, has more fat and cholesterol than dried legumes).
Now that I am strictly following the Mediterranean Diet, I make it a point to prepare and serve dried legumes, at least once a week. I am steadily losing about 1 kilo a week and that is a great achievement for me.
Black eyed beans is considered nutritious with a protein content of about 23%, fat content of 1.3%, fiber of 1.8%, carbohydate content of 67% and water content of 8-9%. As in most legumes, the amino acid profile complements cereal grains. It also contains nictinic acids, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C; and is an excellent source of calcium and folate.
The properties of Chard are so many that I will have to write all day. They are rich in vitamins Κ, Α, C, Ε. They are also rich in antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber and if you would like to learn more, please read the link provided to learn about its other properties.
Matched with the black eyed beans, which are rich in protein, olive oil and all the other ingredients contained in this dish you can understand how healthy and nutritious this is.
My mother used to cook Louvi me Lahana and to be frank I did not like it very much. I am not sure exactly how she cooked it but I am sure that she did not saute the onion and she definitely did not add garlic. She probably just boiled the beans with the chard and when serving we added olive oil and lemon juice.
Louvi me Lahana (Black eyed Beans with Chard)
Preparation time:15 minutes
Cooking time:1 hour (including preparatory steps)
- 250 grams black eyed beans
- 1 bunch of silverbeet or chard (about 3 cups)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 – 3 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon, dill or fennel fronds
- Salt (with moderation) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup lemon juice*
- 4 cups water
- Put blackeyed beans in a pot with water and boil for 15 minutes and drain.
- Meantime, wash and cut silverbeet in smaller pieces.
- Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil and then add silverbeet and stir.
- Add the beans and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and water to cover all ingredients.
- Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook on low heat until the beans are soft.
- Turn off the heat and mix in the parsley and dill.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice (optional).
Update: 10th May, 2017
I made a minor change to my above recipe. I did not add the lemon juice as stated above but left it to be added at the end. I dissolved 1 tbsp flour in the lemon juice and added it just before adding the parsley and dill. The broth thickened slightly to a light sauce. No addition of extra lemon juice and olive oil was necessary.
When dissolving the flour in the lemon juice, if you see lumps, just pass it from a tea strainer and with a spoon mix until the lumps break.
For those of you reading my blog for the first time, you may find out about The Mediterranean Diet and find more Healthy Recipes here but also in my Cookbook More than a Greek Salad, which is more than a cookbook, as in there you will find all you need to know about the Mediterranean Diet, plus 250 healthy Greek recipes, as well as a selection of recipes with with their calories to choose from, in order to program your diet plan.
The traditional Cypriot recipe is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste! available on all Amazon stores.