Almost Turkish Recipes

Bean Salad (Piyaz)

Piyaz is what we call bean salads in Turkey, but the term piyaz is actually Persian and means "onion." This gorgeous, super healthy and nutritious salad is usually prepared with cannellini beans and kneaded red 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 or, like in Antalya, tahini. In my hometown Tekirdağ, one of the two meatball capitals of Turkey, meatballs are almost always served with piyaz: you have to have it. But piyaz is good with any kind grilled meat or with just nicely baked bread or with rice. One of my favorite lunches is cold rice and piyaz. 
2 cups cannellini beans, soaked overnight and cooked until soft OR 1 can of cannellini beans
1 small red onion, thinly sliced in half moons, kneaded with 1tsp of salt, washed and rinsed
1 tomato, diced (in Turkey tomatoes are always skinned before added to salads)
1 green pepper, thinly sliced (shishitos are good subs for Turkish green chilies)
1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
1-2 tsp sumac
1 tsp hot pepper flakes (optional)
a couple of black olives for decoration

I personally do not understand the point of boiling an egg until it's rock hard, bland, and hard to swallow. What a crime. And I detest their cold version even more, if it's possible. Therefore, I never ever use boiled eggs in piyaz. However, if you like them you need 1 hard boiled egg, chopped

for the dressing
1/4 cup or a bit more good olive oil
2-3 tbsp apple or white wine vinegar

-Place the beans on an oval or rectangle serving plate; the plate shouldn't be too deep.
-Add kneaded and rinsed onions on top.
-Add tomatoes, green chilies and then eggs if you're using them.
-Sprinkle sumac and hot pepper flakes.
-Sprinkle parsley on top. Place a couple of olives for decoration on top.
-Mix olive oil, vinegar and salt. Pour over the salad. Piyaz should be a bit sour. Vinegar should definitely come through!
-Mix well (at the table before eating) and dig in preferably with a crusty bread!

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