Thursday, October 13, 2011

Turkish Bean Salad (Piyaz)



Piyaz is a real classic in Turkish cuisine and sort of a necessary side dish/salad to go with meatballs, especially the grilled ones (Try Gemini's Meatballs).
Try to use the freshest vegetables to get that nice crunch inbetween the soft beans.
This salad becomes more delicious for me when I let it sit a little before serving, so the beans can absorb that vinegary dressing.
By the way, if life ever takes you to Istanbul, try to go to Ali Baba's Meatball Restaurant in Arnavutkoy, Istanbul. Yes, Turkey has traditional restaurants specialized in meatballs only; they serve only meatballs and side dishes that go with them. Even their desserts are specific, you kind of know which dessert(s) you will find when you go to a meatball restaurant.


Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • 1 cup canned cannellini beans (or white kidney beans or navy beans or Great Northern beans - See: More info and comparison), rinsed and drained
  • 1 to 1 1/4 cups tomatoes (about 2 small), cubed
  • 1/2 cup cubanelle peppers (about 1/2 pepper) or any other kind mild green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup onion (1 small), thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley (about 1/2 bunch), chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 black olives, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, sliced lengthwise into quarters, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  • Put all the ingredients, except for the eggs and olives, into a bowl and mix gently.
  • You can serve the salad right away or let it sit in the fridge for 1-2 hours for flavors to blend (do not let it sit longer or the salad will lose its freshness).
  • Garnish w/ olives and eggs and serve at room temperature.

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