These crispy heirloom bean cakes are fast and easy to make and they're both vegan and gluten free! They are the perfect vessel for fresh grilled corn relish with okra seed oil. This is not a refrigerator corn relish which has plenty of vinegar, it's more like a grilled salad enrobed in the buttery taste of okra seed oil. it will taste best the day it is made. It's so good you'll want to eat it right out of the bowl (go ahead, we wont' judge) but save some for the bean cakes, trust us.

About Okra Seed Oil

Clay Oliver is passionate about creating cold pressed artisanal oils from traditional Southern ingredients and his Okra oil has become a hot ingredient with chefs across the country. One taste and you'll know why we're head over heals for Okra Seed Oil. Its texture is rich and buttery with a delicate vegetal taste and complex flavors that bring out the best in raw fresh flavors. We love how it works with the corn and tomatoes in this fresh relish.

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 2 cups of cooked Southwest Gold or Peruviana or Old Indian Woman beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1 clove garlic minced fine
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce of your choice (We like the Salsa Morada from Sakari Farms)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 egg beaten 
corn relish with okra seed oil

Corn Relish

  • 1 ear of corn shucked and cleaned
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Okra Seed Oil (if you must substitute with olive oil, add more white pepper and some fresh garden herbs)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • Salt to taste (recommend Pacific Flake Sea Salt)

MAKE THE CORN RELISH

Heat the grill to blazing hot. Slice the zucchini lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Put the corn directly on the grill with NO OIL. turn it every 2-3 minutes to get an even char on the outside. Turn down the grill temp and set the corn aside to cool. Grill the zuchini unti tender and beginning to char then set aside to cool. Once the corn and zuchini have cooled enough to touch, cut the corn off of the cob by placing the corn in the bottom of a bowl and cutting downward on the cob to release the kernels in the bowl. Cut the zuchini into one inch cubes. place the corn, zuchini and tomato. Drizzle on the okra seed oil, sprinkle with white pepper and sea salt and stir to combine. Allow to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes while you make the bean cakes so that the flavors meld. If you refrigerate it, bring it back to room temp before serving. 

FOR THE BEAN CAKES

In a mixing bowl, smash the beans with back of a fork or a potato masher leaving large chunks and some bans whole. Add the parsley, scallions, cornstarch, hot sauce, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add the beaten egg and fold in until completely incorporated. 

Heat an iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and drizzle enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Once the oil is heated enough to sizzle, add the bean mixture in heaping spoonfuls, flattening them with the back of your spoon an cooking on each side until they are crispy and starting to brown. 

Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with lemon zest and flaky finishing salt like Pacific Flake. Serve on a plate with grilled corn relish.

COOKS NOTE:  If you twice fry the bean cakes they are even more crispy and delicious (although probably not as healthy). 

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