Cockle, White Bean, Saucisson & Chorizo Salad
This salad is directly inspired by a Spanish dish called ‘Fabes con almejas’ or also ‘fabada’ from the Asturias region. This traditional dish often served in a terra cotta plate (cazuela) is made of large white beans, clams but also blood sausage, lard and ham. A winter dish, a sort of stew close to the French Cassoulet from this north-west part of Spain close to the sea and the mountains (Gijon is a city from the Asturias and eponymous beans are part of this recipe) with very little spices in order to keep all the high-quality ingredient flavors (maybe a little bit safran, a great classic of the Spanish cuisine).
Here’s a simpler salad, without hours of preparation, with saucisson and chorizo (for a little pepper or spicy twist) that you can serve tepid or cold.
You will need high-quality ingredients: some Gijon beans which are large white beans that do not get mushy when cooked and have a delicious nutty taste, some other good white beans (one variety called ‘mogettes’ in France), some ‘saucisson’ and chorizo (typical Spanish sausage) that need to be really dry and not greasy. I’ve used cockles with their hazelnut flavour instead of clams. And a lot of parsley and a strong seasoning with different vinegars to give some contrast to the whole dish.
If you cannot find cockles though they are pretty easy to find nowadays, you can also use some mussels, fresh white fish or even crumbled haddock fillets. The idea is to serve a ‘terre-mer’ combination.
I used store-bought baked beans because I could not find dry Gijon beans, but if you find some, you will need to soak them for at least twelve hours with a tablespoon of baking soda to ease your digestion.
Gently toss your salad, cooked, the beans remain fragile.
- 2 cans of Gijon beans (about 215 g each), drained and rinsed
- 1 can natural small white beans, drained and rinsed
- 500 g cockles
- 1 glass of dry white wine
- 1 large handful chopped parsley
- 2 shallots, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 cms high-quality dry saucisson de saucisson, peeled and diced
- 5 cms high-quality chorizo, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- the juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper
- Soak the cockles for an hour and rinse them thoroughly to remove the sand; Set aside
- In a pan, mix the butter and olive oil
- Let the mix melt and add the shallots
- Let the shallots on high heat till they are slightly golden
- Add the drained cockles and keep the high heat; the cockles will open one by one under the heat (do not keep the ones that remain closed)
- Add the glass of dry white wine and lower the heat; leave them to cook for 4-5 minutes on low heat
- Add the parsley, mix well and remove from the heat
- In a pan, add the beans, the two different sausages and add the cockles
- Gently mix with the olive oil, the different vinegars, the lemon juice and season to taste
- Serve tepid or cold