A Recipe: “Piyaz” — Delicious Turkish Bean Salad

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Dry beans are commonly famous as the ‘sultans of the Turkish kitchen.’ They are a staple in Turkish cuisine where delicious recipes for fresh and dry beans abound. Meanwhile, one of the most common ways to eat beans is as a cold salad or starter, called “piyaz“. ‘Piyaz’ is a simple dish to cook at home. However, you should enrich dish made with white, or navy beans, red onion, Italian parsley and seasoned with vinegar.

So, Piyaz is usually served along with Turkish-style grilled meatballs, better known as ‘köfte’, and other grilled meats. Furthermore, the meal is easy to prepare and made with common, inexpensive ingredients. So, the key to good ‘piyaz’ lies in the quality of the beans and ​the way you handle them during cooking. Each bean must be very tender, but intact. Because of this, you must allow ample time to soak them to achieve perfect beans. Then, cook them very slowly until tender.

Piyaz is a staple in Turkish cuisine where delicious recipes for fresh and dry beans abound.
Piyaz is a staple in Turkish cuisine where delicious recipes for fresh and dry beans abound.

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While draining the beans and mixing the salad, be sure to treat the cooked beans gently. Thus, you don’t separate the beans from the hulls, or crush them. As a matter of fact, the best way is to turn the salad with a wooden spoon or use your fingers to toss it gently. If you’re short on time you can always substitute dry beans for canned. They will be soft and tasty, but you may not get the perfect, undamaged beans that are so prized.

Ingredients for Bean Salad — Piyaz
  • 1 cup beans (navy, dry)
  • 1 onion (red)
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 pepper (green pepper of your choice)
  • 1/3 cup parsley (chopped Italian parsley)
  • An egg (hard-boiled)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 4 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (or grape vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)
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While draining the beans and mixing the salad, be sure to treat the cooked beans gently.
While draining the beans and mixing the salad, be sure to treat the cooked beans gently.

For Garnish:

  • 6 black olives
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Hot pepper flakes
  • Sprigs of Italian parsley

How to Make Turkish Bean Salad — Piyaz?

First, you must gather the ingredients. Secondly, the night before, do not forget to put the dry beans in a large bowl and cover them generously with water. Let them soak overnight. The next morning, drain the beans and put them in a pot with fresh water. Let them boil softly until tender. Allow them to cool in the water, then drain them well.

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If you want to save time, substitute the dry beans with canned Navy beans.
If you want to save time, substitute the dry beans with canned Navy beans.

Later on, if you want to save time, substitute the dry beans with canned Navy beans. Drain and rinse them under cold water before you use them. Afterwards, put the drained beans in a large bowl. Drizzle the vinegar over the top. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and let it rest for about one hour.

In the meantime, chop the tomatoes into small cubes, cut the pepper into rings and chop the parsley. Peel the onion, cut it in half, and cut it into half-circle slices. Wearing rubber gloves, rub the onion slices between your hands or on a wooden cutting board to soften them.

Don’t Miss the Following Steps…

Drain the extra vinegar from the beans. Toss the chopped vegetables and parsley in with your fingers. Put the beans on a large, flat serving plate or distribute them on individual salad plates. Spread the onion slices evenly over the top.

For the dressing: mix the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper together then drizzle it over the salad.

Piyaz is especially a very common dish in the Aegean region of Tukey.
Piyaz is especially a very common dish in the Aegean region of Tukey.

Garnish the top with black olives, slivers of hard-boiled egg, lemon wedges and parsley sprigs. Sprinkle with hot pepper flakes, if desired.

Serve and enjoy!

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