As with so much else food, I simply love this bean salad. But I truly love all kinds of beans. This bean salad however is made with fresh beans and with very few ingredients. It makes it so fresh and light and makes it fit almost anything. For me it is a great summer dish, although bean salad can be used all year round – warm as cold. But it’s just special super delicious along with meat and vegetables directly from the grill. The bean salad has a lot of aromatic flavor from the tomatoes and crunchy, mild flavor from the beans, that makes it really delicious.
This dish is originally a part of the meze table (meze is various small turkish dishes to serve as appetizers before a larger dinner or just as part of a good lunch). Picnic is also something the Turks gis really in to and here’s Meze an absolutely indispensable part of the pleasure. Meze is simply the best. It reminds a lot of spanish Tapas, which also has several small interesting dishes together, so there is a good chance to taste many different things without being completely full.
Beans are not just beans
I always use some relatively wide beans, which are often quite long too (about 2 cm wide and up to 20 cm long, I believe). I am not fully aware of their name, but the ethnic greengrocers usually have them. Occasionally. Maybe you can find them in the local supermarked – I have sometimes been lucky. A few years ago, when we hadn’t an ethnic greengrocer in town and I had to drive very far to get these prayers, I even began to grow them in my garden. It was really most meant as an experiment, but the results were pretty good, so now it’s a recurrent part of my garden. They are easy to grow, great to look at with small delicate flowers and then the plants really gives diligently, so we can reap a few times a week.
You can also use the ordinary green beans, which you can get fresh or from frost. They also tastes fine, but the other wide ones provides just something else to the taste. They easily gets overcooked, so you have to keep an eye on them. In return, they provide a lovely juice for the salad (along with tomatoes, onions and olive oil), and it’s wonderful to dip some bread in the juice and suck it up. Especially these Simit ant this turkish bread are good.
Should bean salad is cold or hot?
You can actually do both – serve it cold or hot. Often we eat bean salad hot (or warm) with ex. Köfte, lamb chops, chicken, for a pie or along with börek. It is mostly because I am not always that well organized or in advance. In my opinion, bean salad is definitely best cold. Not like refrigerator cold, but certainly cooled (remove it from the refrigerator half an hour before you need it). Here the flavors really developes. If you even use a good olive oil you will be extra happy.
- 500 g green beans, preferable the broad ones
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves, garlic finely diced
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup water
1: Cut the ends of the beans. If you use the broad beans, you may want to cut them once lengthwise, if they are very wide, and then cut them into chunks of 8-10 cms length.
2: Heat the oil in a saucepan.
3: Fry the onion over low heat until it gets a bit of color. Add the garlic and fry them. gently.
4: add the tomato puree, if you're use it.
5: Add the sliced beans and let them cook for about 6-8 minutes.
6: Then add the tomatoes and let them boil for about 5 minutes.
7: Add sugar, salt, pepper and water (and possibly cumin, if you use it).
8: Let it all simmer for about 30 minutes. The beans should be so tender, that they can be cut with a fork.
9: Remove the saucepan from the heat and let everything cool in the pan. Then put the bean salad in a bowl and set aside in the refrigerator until needed.
Please take the salad out about 30 minutes before use so it reaches to room temperature.
Server alone, as meze or as an accompaniment to eg. Grilled steak, chicken or lamb.
You may add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, a little chili powder and a pinch of cumin if you like. It adds a little extra to the taste.