Lupini Beans Should Never Be Missing From Your Antipasto

The Italian tradition of enjoying an antipasto, or the plural, antipasti, prior to a meal is now popular around the world. These appetizers of sorts are often served as a group of small bites, including olives, cured meats and cheeses, and a variety of vegetables, and are meant to entice your taste buds and prepare your stomach for the meal ahead. If you are thinking of making your own antipasti board at home, there is one ingredient that we think is well worth including: lupini beans.

Lupini beans, also known as lupin beans, are a Mediterranean legume that look similar to fava beans and taste similar to soybeans. They are a popular bar snack in Europe and are known not only for their flavor but also their nutritional content, as they have twice the protein of chickpeas and more fiber than most other varieties of legumes (via Well + Good). Smooth, savory, and satisfying, these beans do just what an antipasto is expected to do by awakening your palate and your cravings.

How to use lupini beans

While these beans can be purchased both dry or canned, we recommend buying the latter, as soaking this particular variety takes at least three days and can be quite the ordeal. From there, preparing them as an antipasto is very easy to do. Simply toss the canned or soaked beans in your preferred marinade, such as olive oil and vinegar or garlic and parsley, then serve in a dish alongside your other favorite antipasti.

As far as what to include with your lupini beans during antipasto hour, these umami bombs taste their best when paired with other flavors to balance them out. We recommend complementing these beans with acidic, bitter, or astringent foods for a well-rounded bite. Good options include asparagus, olives, and kale, but they also work well with any pickled vegetable, as well as roasted lemons or fresh tomatoes. At the end of the day, building an antipasti board is all about creativity, and how you make yours is up to you, but you will never regret keeping a hearty serving of lupini beans on it.