Mosaic, Art, Love and Beans

IMG_5836ellie markovith

When I was asked what I could cook to feed the community and artist Isaiah Zagar’s during Found Art Mosaic Mural workshop at Freedom Square this past weekend, most people around me knew I would say beans. I decided on Feijoada, the national dish of my native Brazil because of all the stories and love that comes to my mind.

IMG_6098eby Ellie Markovitch
I started taking photos over the weekend, but still I am not able to capture all the details, the tiles made by children’s hands, pieces of broken plates and mirrors, the messages that will make you smile and others that will make you pause and reflect. The Mural carries a sense of community. Each tile tells a story, each one, touched by a person who gave part of them, their creativity, energy, art, and love.
freedom square stage by Ellie

IMG_6048eby Ellie Markovitch
I modified the traditional Feijoada to a vegetarian version to offer a one plate meal. But there were other dishes also prepared by Pastor Willie D. Bacote of the The Missing Link Street Ministry
and many others who joined me Saturday morning for a Bean workshop in the Kitchen Sanctuary at the  Sanctuary for Independent Media. Thank you everyone who came, cooked, and helped with many tasks of the day.
You can check out more photos of the Bean workshop and the day on this link
IMG_5923byChelsea Keresz
Feijoada photo by Chelsea Kereszi
Brazilian Feijoada, Vegetarian version
by Ellie Markovitch

serves 50
2 kg (about 4.4 pounds) dried black beans (I cooked mine in the pressure cooker)
8 medium carrots, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, cubed
2 eggplants, cubed
6 bay leaves
3 large onions
1 head of garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch of each parsley, green onions and cilantro (“cheiro verde”  or green smell)
Malagueta pepper (can sub with other hot pepper if desired)
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 tamari sauce
2 teaspoons smoked paprika

The night before, soak the beans in a large bowl with water to cover at least 3-4 inches. The next morning, drain the beans and place in a large pot with bay leaves and with water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring the beans to a boil in medium heat. Cook until soft.
Option 2: cook beans and bay leaves in the pressure cook until half done, about 5-7 minutes
Meanwhile, cut all the vegetables about 1-inch to 2 inch pieces. Sauté in oil until brown on all sides.
Add the vegetables, and onions to almost cooked beans to simmer, stirring from time to time, adding water as necessary to keep beans covered. Add garlic and half of the cheiro verde, simmer for a couple minutes.
IMG_5985eby Ellie Markovitch
Decant a few ladlefuls of the sauce into a separate saucepan and add the Malagueta pepper, garlic, cheiro verde (parsley, green onions and cilantro). Heat through and sever separately.
Continue to simmer gently for at least another hour, adding water as necessary. Remove the bay leaves.
To serve feijoada, put a mound or rice on your plate and place a ladleful or two of feijoada on top or on the side. Arrange oranges and collard greens around the sides.

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