Turkish Navy Bean Salad – Piyaz, protein-rich meal for all
Time: prep. 5 mins
cott. 15-25 – mins
Difficulty: very easy
Yields: 2 portions
Piyaz a.k.a. Turkish navy bean salad has no season; it can be readily found on winter and summer tables.
Due to the ubiquity and affordable price of beans, it becomes an inclusive dish, enjoyed by the poor to the rich, omnivores to vegans.
Beans are also a great energy booster, as they are rich in protein – about 24.5 g per 100 g (read more about plant proteins here), dietary fiber, vitamins (B6 and folic acid) and essential minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium).
Now, however, let’s get this out of the way: the data just listed, although fundamental, are of little interest to the hungry, tired and overheated person returning home! That is why Turkish navy bean salad becomes a happy conjunction of all points of view: you can prepare it quickly (provided you have the beans already cooked), satiates without weighing you down, and, perhaps most important in these scorching days, refreshes as it is eaten chilled; it is no coincidence that Turkish navy bean salad is always on my weekly summer menu, regardless of whether I am on a boat or at home.
Having said that, some might argue otherwise, considering the “apparent difficulties” related to cooking and preparing beans… but I’ll immediately reassure skeptics struggling with dried beans (or legumes in general): the preparation might yes seem complicated, very long and full of pitfalls; fortunately, thanks to this guide you can find all the tricks to eliminate phytates and other anti-nutrients present in a healthy and natural way; and tips on how to cook beans quickly and how to store them properly to always have them on hand.
I often emphasize that CHE Food Revolution was created with the intention of providing knowledge and awareness, in order to show how healthy eating is not reserved only for the affluent, or for people who have 16 hours a day to devote to the stove: with the right amount of organization and a pinch of determination, everyone can conduct proper and healthy nutrition, without being 100 percent dependent on the food industry.
I mentioned inclusivity based on income, but this dish of humble roots really unites everyone: omnivores and non- omnivores alike. In Turkiye, it can be ordered in any restaurant where purely meat is cooked, thus saving diners of different dietary orientation the trouble of looking for an “impossible place” to satisfy their needs and with taste.
Ingredients for Turkish Navy Bean Salad
300 g of already cooked beans
3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of evo oil
juice of a half lemon
2 tablespoons vinegar
salt to taste
spices, such as sumac or ground chili, are optional but definitely recommended
After cooking the beans (following these directions), let them cool: I like Turkish navy bean salad best, if the beans have spent long hours in the refrigerator.
As mentioned above, the recipe is quick and easy, however some organization must be taken into account: various steps are involved during the preparation of the beans, such as soaking, cooking, cooling; but I specify again that in none of these steps will your presence be required for more than 3 minutes per process. My only advice for optimizing time is to cook them in large quantities; portion them and freeze them (or make preserves); and finally use them as needed in very little time.
Wash the parsley and chop it very finely.
Slice the onion thinly and half-moon.
Mix the lemon juice, vinegar and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl to make a stable emulsion.
Put the cold beans inside a large salad bowl, sprinkle them with the chopped parsley and onion and finally drizzle everything with the emulsion prepared just now.
The piyaz aka Turkish navy bean salad is ready.
But this is not the only version available; to enrich the taste and/or nutrients of the salad you could also add other ingredients:
– 2 tablespoons of tahini sauce (to see how you can make it at home, read this recipe);
– 1 hard-boiled egg;
– some feta cheese;
– avocado (fresh or frozen)
– grilled peppers or tomato paste or pepper paste or all together
Turkish navy bean salad, even without the addition of the ingredients mentioned above, is rich and nutritious. Therefore, to be more sustainable, I recommend that you use it not like the classic side dish, but as a real main meal.
The smart combinations that I suggest you, are tasty vegetables, not only for a gastronomic matter, but for a better assimilation of minerals, among all iron: the vitamin C present will help to absorb iron in an optimal way: to know why I recommend you to read this article.
Enjoy your Turkish navy bean salad and good revolution to you all