Sunday, March 7, 2010

Borlotti Beans (Barbunya Pilaki)

Very popular side dish in Turkey, I especially like it the next day. You can use the leftovers for lunch in a whole wheat wrap with mixed greens, it is very satisfying and nutrious yet keeps your blood sugar steady.

Borlotti beans, also known as roman beans or romano beans (not to be confused with Italian flat beans, a green bean also called "romano bean"), are a variety of cranberry bean bred in Italy to have a thicker skin. It is very popular in Italian, Portuguese and Turkish cuisine. Pinto beans look the same as cranberry and borlotti beans, but differ in taste. Pilaki is a style of Turkish meze and may refer to several dishes that are cooked in a sauce made out of onion, garlic, carrot, tomato or tomato paste, sugar, and olive oil. Beans prepared in this style (fasulye pilaki, with white beans, or barbunya pilaki, with borlotti beans) are served cold, garnished with parsley and slices of lemon. In Greek cuisine, this style is known as plaki. (Reference courtesy Wikipedia)

Borlotti beans are very delicious when they are fresh but it is almost impossible to find them fresh here in States. Dry beans are available year around and they also provide good texture. If you can't find them you can use pinto beans the taste will be different but still delicious. If you are pressed with time you can use canned pinto or roman beans for a quick delicious side dish.

1 cup dried borlotti beans
1 medium onion diced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 carrot
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes or 1 big fresh tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 cup hot water
lemon and parsley for garnish

Optinal Ingredients:
1 small potato petite diced
1 clove garlic
1 green banana pepper
1. If you are using dry beans soak them overnight and change the water before boiling.
2. Boil the beans until soft.
3. In a seperate pot saute the onions in olive oil, (garlic optional)
4. Add carrots (if you are using you can add the green peppers) and saute until soft
5. Add tomato paste (add the potatoes/optional)
6. Add the beans and tomatoes stir for 3 min.
7. Add salt, sugar, and water.
8. Turn down the heat and cook for 45 min.
9. Garnish with parsley and enjoy with a squeeze of lemon on top

1 comment:

  1. Esra, I made this and really liked it! I love how your recipe is so flexible. Thanks so much for sharing it. :)

    And wrote about it here: