Almost Turkish Recipes

Antalya Bean Salad (Antalya Usulü Piyaz)





















Piyaz
is what we call bean salads in Turkey, but the term is actually Persian and means "onion." Piyaz is usually prepared with cannellini beans and kneaded onion; dressed with olive oil and vinegar; spiced up with pepper flakes; and decorated with tomatoes, parsley, and hard-boiled eggs. Depending on the region, piyaz might have green onions or sumac. However, in Antalya, a beautiful city with magnificent beaches and historical places on the Mediterranean coast, piyaz is made differently than the rest of Turkey. The difference is tahini and garlic, which, to my surprise since I'm not a great tahini fan, enriches the taste incredibly. In Tekirdag, my hometown, piyaz is served always with Tekirdag Meatballs. However, with tahini it can be a main dish as well.

2 cups of cooked cannellini beans (save the cooking water)
1 onion, cut finely in julienne or half-moons (in Antalya, they dice the onion, but I prefer julienne)
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp crushed pepper
1 or two hard boiled eggs, sliced or grated
1 tomato, diced

1/2 cup tahini
2 tbsp vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil











-Soak the beans over night. Bring them to a boil and then on medium heat cook them until soft. Save the cooking water. Or, of course, use canned beans.
-In a bowl mix tahini, vinegar, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Tahini will thicken at first when mixed with liquid. Call it a shock. It's ok. This is where we will add the cooking water from beans, a couple of tablespoons at a time, slowly. Use a whisk to get rid of clumps. Add water until you have a smooth tahini sauce, but not very runny. The tahini sauce shouldn't be too runny or thick. Since different tahini brands have different density, so the amount of added water becomes crucial.
-First place the beans on a plate. In Turkey piyaz is usually served on oval, slightly deep serving platters.
-Pour the tahini dressing over the beans evenly.
-Slice the onion thinly julienne style and knead with 1 tsp salt in a bowl. Rinse and squeeze the excess water.
-Add onions on beans and tahini, evenly.
-Add diced tomatoes and boiled egg if you're using one on top, and finish with finely chopped parsley.
-Finally, dress with olive oil and serve with a lemon slice or half a lemon on the side, because there's no such thing as piyaz being "too sour."  Piyaz is usually tossed at the table.

17 comments:

  1. I think it sounds fabulous. I like Tahini quite a lot, but I do agree it can be too strong in some combinations. With these beans it sounds perfect to me. With a bit of red pepper flakes too! I must make this sometime, saving the recipe now.

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  2. I love the idea of tahini and beans -- the beans alone can be quite bland, and the tahini quite strong. I will definitely put this on my list to try. (It's also a great use of pantry items!)

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  3. Again a must try for me!! thanks for sharing! :)

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  4. Anonymous5:55 AM

    Hello Burcu, I liked both the recipe and the new layout of your blog. Good work, congratulations! It has been a long while without cooking any bean salad, I really missed it:-)

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  5. I love this new layout, so clean and sleek :D
    another wonderful salad!

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  6. I love beans in all shapes and sizes!
    The bean salad sounds particularly good - especially with the tahini which I really like.
    I did the same thing when we moved to Andorra - tried all the beans trying to find ones I was familiar with!

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  7. Thanks you all for your nice comments on the recipe and the layout.

    Katie, are there any Andorran recipes on your blog that we can explore?

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  8. Oh!! That looks heavenly! I swear, every one of your recipes are fabulous!!!!

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  9. this sounds so nutritious.. what a twist to the egg salad.

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  10. Anonymous1:53 PM

    just thought you should know that someone is using your images and recipe on this page.

    http://www.grouprecipes.com/11162/antalaya-bean-salad.html

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  11. Thanks anonymous!

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  12. Anonymous2:04 PM

    this is one of the best piyaz recipes ever! try blending in about two spoonfuls of mashed beans into the sauce (this is considered to be the 'secret' ingredient of the antalya cooks).

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  13. I'll definitely try the secret ingredient next time. Thanks!

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  14. Anonymous4:21 PM

    It looks really delicious. I will try it now. Forever Antalya :))

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  15. When I watched my "host mom" in Antalya make this, she used a little oil in the dressing. Do you recommend this? I tried to replicate her "recipe" it tasted terrible, so I'm happy to have a real recipe with measurements - maybe that will help! Either that, or time and experience. Anyway, thanks so much and I love your blog.

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  16. We have prepared it today and so much loved. A perfect recipe. Suggested to everyone who cares about taste.

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  17. Anonymous5:09 AM

    This dish is amazing. I can't recommend it highly enough. Refreshing and yet filling.

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