Annibale Carracci, the Bean Eater (1583)
Galleria Colonna, Rome
The Carraccis were an important artist family in the Middle Ages. He ran an art academy together with two brothers. The main point was that a good line drawing is the basis for every painting. The fact that they created performances like these that have also been preserved is unique. Many paintings at that time were commissioned by the church and therefore religious. The precise representation of the bean eater fascinates as if it were a photo of that time.
Famous chefs such as Ferran Adrià and Grant Achatz also sketch the layout of a dish before they prepare the first plate. The Carraccis combined the colorful Venetian school with the Florentine style. For this painting he almost makes a caricature of an eating farmer. With his caricatures he was an example for later artists.
Beans are not known as the most refined vegetables and were previously seen as food for poor farmers. Certainly at the time that Carracci painted this work. However, the protein-rich food is now also used in the more refined cuisine of, for example, Ottolenghi. Nowadays we regularly make a bean salad from various types of beans or lentils. So in our Art & Food we make an colorful bean salad with tomatoes
10 tomatoes in yellow and red
Can of Cannellini beans
Half a red onion in rings
Juice of half a lime
Roasted sunflower seeds
teaspoon of Za'atar
Feta or other white cheese
Pepper and salt
Cut the tomatoes in half at least an hour in advance and set aside with some salt and pepper so that the flavors of the tomatoes are optimally released. Cut the onion into rings and cut the mint into strips. Roast the sunflower seeds.
Put everything in a bowl with some olive oil and the herbs. Present on a beautiful dish or plate using a ring. You can add feta or another young cheese for color and flavor.