Unfortunately, we do not appreciate bitterness very much. The way we used to eat as infants strongly influences our preferences in taste. Even the food our mothers used to eat when she was pregnant or breastfeeding us influences our preferences for life. In most parts of the world, young humans are trained to like sweet foods, for example when being rewarded. Sweetness is not a bad thing. Fruits are great and there is no reason to eat less than we want of them. But sweetness is only one dimension. We should pay attention to introduce infants to an abundance of plant-based whole foods so that they naturally enjoy them the most. However, our preferences in taste is also a matter of training and habit. When you abstain from sweet foods you will taste the sweetness in foods that seemed only bitter to you. (I’m not suggesting that you should do this, you can read more about my take on optimal cooking here.) When eating more bitter food you will get used to it and eventually find ways to enjoy it. Why is this important? There are bitter principles that are really good for us. And since we tend to not like bitter foods we get too little of them. Here, I created a complex symphony of bitterness with sweet lupini beans.
The intensity and flavour of your mustard, balsamic vinegar and syrup can vary a lot. I therefore, didn’t make precise suggestions for those ingredients. Taste and choose the quantity according to your desired result.
Serves 2. Prep time: 30 min
- 2/3 cup lupini beans, soaked overnight and cooked
- 20 leaves of radicchio, separated from the white part and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 red onion, finely sliced (ideally with a mandoline)
- 1 tsp genmai miso
- 3-4 tbsp syrup of your choice
- 3-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp mustard
- 1 1/2 tsp ground anise seeds
- salt or 2 tbsp light soy sauce (shiro shoyu)
- 1/2 black radish
Toss all the ingredients except the radish in a large bowl and let marinate for ideally a few hours (or 5 min to 24 hours). Grate the radish on the marinated lupin bean dish, mix and serve immediately.