Lupini beans are most widely known in the Mediterranean Basin and often eaten brined as a snack. I’ve only ever bought processed lupini beans because I read about how one needs to meticulously rinse them to remove the toxic alkaloids that give them a distinct bitterness not dissimilar to uncured olives, which got me to thinking about how I love olives and dark cherries together. Which, natu­rally, made me think about brining cherries to cure a bit like an olive. And now, here we are.


  • 1 lb [455 g] sweet, black cherries, unpitted

    TST-PULP-BookCover Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit Abra Berens
  • 1 Tbsp salt

  • One 16 oz [480 ml] jar lupini beans, rinsed

  • 1 lb [455 g] Castelvetrano olives

  • 1 tsp fennel seed

  • ½ tsp chili flakes

  • 1 orange, peel cut into wide ribbons

  • 2 sprigs rosemary

  • ½ cup [120 ml] olive oil


Pack the washed cherries in a clean jar. In a medium bowl, dissolve the salt in 2 cups [480 ml] of water to make a brine. Pour the brine over the cherries and let soak for at least an hour and up to a week. In a medium bowl, combine the beans and olives.

 In a small frying pan, dry toast the fennel seed and chili flakes over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add to the beans along with the orange peel, rosemary, and olive oil. Toss to coat.

Just before serving, drain the cherries, add to the beans, and serve (preferably with a glass of vermouth).

Reprinted from Pulp: A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit by Abra Berens, with permission by Chronicle Books, 2023. Photographs © EE Berger.

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