Almost Turkish Recipes

Vegetarian and Minty Cannellini Beans (Zeytinyağlı Naneli Kuru Fasulye)

Cannellini beans, referred to as dry beans or simply as 'the dry,' along with rice is THE traditional Turkish dish. If there's pickled vegetables on the side, especially cabbage, voila, jackpot!  There are variations of this recipe based on what kind of meat you want to use, or although rare, a vegetarian version. You can cook dry cannellinis  with stew beef or lamb, with ground meat-my least favorite, pastrami (pastirma)-yumm, and/or soujuk (sucuk, Middle Eastern/Turkish sausage). 

Although traditionally the dish has meat in it, growing up in my house we loved the 'olive oil! i.e. the vegetarian version the best, especially during summers. Mom's vegetarian summer version has no meat but sweet green chilies, fresh mint leaves, and sun dried tomatoes. Delicious! 

For 4 people
2 cups soaked cannellini beans (1 cup soaked overnight makes ~2 cups) or 2 cans of cannellini beans [Although the taste will be different, you can use northern or navy beans as well]
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2-3 sweet green chilies or any peppers you like or can fine, chopped 
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped or 1-1 1/2 tbsp dry mint leaves
1/3 cup or more sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tomato, grated or canned petite diced tomato
3-4 tbsp olive oil

-Put olive oil in a cast iron pot and heat [You can use any kind of pot, but beans are cooked best in cast irons or clay pots]
-Add onion and cook ~5 minutes until soft but not brown.
-Add green peppers and cook 2-3 minutes.
-Add garlic and tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. 
-Add beans, sun dried tomatoes, fresh or dry mint leaves, and grated tomato. Cook for 2 minutes.
-Add water to go almost an inch over the beans. Salt to your taste.
-Bring to a boil and then simmer covered on low to medium for 30-40 minutes. If you're using canned beans 30 minutes will be enough. If you soaked the beans overnight, check the beans after 40 minutes; they may need a good hour or bit more. 
-Enjoy with rice or any kind of grain on the side or crusty bread to soak that delicious tomato juice. Yogurt and pickled veggies on the side are most beloved sides for dry beans. 

No comments:

Post a Comment