Maybe you’re also one of those, who haven’t been accustomed to beans in your childhood ?? I am – and I was neither accustomed to lentils, eggplant and other “strange”, but common ingredients in Turkish cuisine. Oddly enough beans, lentils and eggplant belongs to some of my favorite food today, and I’m lucky, that I have a man, who grew up with these things and really like the variety of dishes, where you can use them.
Turkish bean salad – Fasulye piyaz – is one of our favorites at home, because it is delicious and has incredible much flavor and so it fits to really many dishes. We use bean salad for everything from lunch to picnic and the large Turkish meze table and to serve with köfte, fish and chicken, or just as a part of a separate vegetarian dish with a good salad. But my favorite is as a sidedish to a good steak.
Turkish bean salad is super easy to make – especially if you use beans from the can (just remember to grab the right Canelli – beans, that are the original small white beans, although the larger white beans can also be used as a bit more unoriginal feature) . But for some reason my favorite is the small, fine, dried beans, you boil yourself, as they are often available in a smaller and more delicate version (particularly the ecological variations). The only but is, that it is a bit more hassle to cook, as they must be soaked over night and then boiled about an hour at medium heat, until they’re soft (possibly with bay leaves and a little pepper in order to get more flavor, but it is absolutely not necessary). So if you don’t have that much time, canned beans are fine, and if you have to make a greater portion (or just have enough time), I suggest, that you use the dried ones and then boil them.
Here’s how to make Turkish beansalad:
For approximately 4-6 people, you will need:
2 cans precooked Canelli beans (equivalent to about 400 grams) or approximately 250g small dried beans, if you’d rather put them to soak and cook them
3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ red onion, thinly sliced
3-4 tbsp black or green olives – preferable Turkish and stoned
2 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
1 handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of 1 small lemon
1 teaspoon sumac spice
1 teaspoon chili flakes (Pul biber)
season with salt and pepper
Pour the cooked and rinsed beans into a large bowl. Mix the finely sliced onion with salt and sumac in a small bowl and set aside, until onions become soft and more manageable. Boil the eggs, until they are hard boiled. Chop the tomatoes, parsley and cut the olives and then mix it all together with the onions and the beans. Pres lemon juice and whisk it together with the olive oil and pour over the beans. Season with salt and pepper and chili flakes – remember to taste, so it is not too salty (or spicy for that matter). Peel the eggs and cut them into quarters, and garnish the salad with them along with a few extra olives and possibly a small stalk parsley, if you are the finery type ( like the Turks).
You can cover the bean salad and put it in the fridge, until you need it. It can easily stay for a few days and actually grows more taste, if it stands for a day.
I am curious, as to whether you like it. It is a fun mix of a bit heavy and flour from the beans and freshness from the vegetables, so it is full of flavor and juices and saturates very well. Write what you think about it 🙂