Definitely, gastronomy is defined by the availability of food and the local climate. People throughout history have learned to use the same ingredient in different ways, depending on the climate. Piyaz is the perfect example of this.
Piyaz is a salad made from cooked white beans, it is refreshing and perfect for the summer. Beans are traditionally preferred in soups, or in stews. This is how the Persians consumed them on winter days. But in the scorching heat of the summer, they needed to use the beans in a more comforting way for the body. And so, the piyaz was born.
A brief history of Piyaz
It is difficult to know exactly when this Mezze emerged. Although, most of the available information links the Piyaz with the Ottoman Empire, around 1400 BC.
Currently, this dish adopts different ingredients depending on the region that prepares it. But, the first versions used chickpeas instead of white beans. And about vegetables, they used artichokes and potatoes.
Later, some new ingredients enriched the Piyaz. For example, the tomato is native to America. The Spanish brought this fruit to the old continent, and its consumption and cultivation spread. Today the tomato is an important part of the Piyaz.
The secrets for a good Piyaz
This simple dish is easy to prepare. But it has some secrets that the Turks master perfectly, and here we tell you about them:
- Use dried white beans. Although there are canned beans, these are usually overcooked, and easily fall apart. To get the best piyaz, it is essential that the cooked beans are tender and whole at the same time.
- Soak the beans about eight hours before cooking, and cook them over low heat to prevent them from breaking. In this case, discard pressure cookers or high-heat cooking.
- There are those who claim that the appetite enters through the eyes, and in the case of salads it is key. Choose ripe tomatoes, red onion instead of white onion. And do not rule out the possibility of serving the piyaz on a bed of green lettuce.
- Finally, the temperature. For a refreshing piyaz, store it in the fridge for at least two hours before serving.
- And if you do not know what to go with your piyaz. We invite you to our Kofte recipe, so you can eat this delicious salad as if you were in Turkey.
How to make the piyaz dressing?
The piyaz is garnish with a simple vinaigrette. It is a very good option to combine the acid of the lemon with the vinegar. The Arab touch is definitely obtained with a bit of Sumac. Likewise, curly parsley cannot be absent. A little olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste, and you're done.
2 cups of dried white beans, 250 g.
12 cups of water
2 ripe tomatoes, 200 g
1 red onion, 80 g.
1 bunch of curly parsley, 20 g.
2 boiled eggs
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon of sumac
Salt and pepper to taste
For the vinaigrette:
The night before preparing the Piyaz, check the beans well, remove any bad beans. And rinse them under running water. Then place them in a glass bowl and cover them with enough water. Store them covered in the fridge and let them soak there overnight.
Cooking the beans will take about two to three hours. So, it is advisable to start early. Drain the soaking water from the beans. Rinse them once more under running water. Then place them with the twelve cups of water to simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the beans are tender.
While the beans are cooking, put the two eggs to cook in boiling water, for a most time of ten minutes. When they are cooked, remove them from the pot, and let them cool.
Turn off the stove, and with metal, strainer drains the cooking water from the beans. Rinse them with cold water and put them in the bowl where you will make the Piyaz. Reserve.
Peel the tomatoes, extract the seeds and then dice them. Remove the shell from the eggs and chop them finely. Then peel the onion and cut it into small squares. Wash the parsley, and then cut it finely.
Place the eggs, tomatoes, onion, and chopped parsley in the bowl with the beans.
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix well: lemon, vinegar, sumac, oil, salt, and pepper.
Pour dressing over the salad bowl. Stir the salad with a wooden spoon.
If desired, serve on a bed of lettuce, or with some olives.