Fasulye Pilaki is a delicious and wholesome vegetarian Turkish mezze, where vegetables and white (or cannellini) beans are cooked with onions, garlic, carrot and potato in olive oil. As in the case with our Zeytinyagli dishes, the category in Turkish cuisine where we cook vegetables in olive oil, we add a little sugar to balance the flavors. We serve pilaki cold or at room temperature, garnished with parsley and wedges of lemon; the tangy, refreshing lemon juice is really a must here and complements this beans based mezze very well.
I love the ease of preparing this dish as you can prepare ahead of time; it tastes even better the next day as the flavors mature. You can serve fasulye pilaki as a side to grilled fish, meat or vegetables. It is delightful as part of a mezze spread and for lunch too. This dish is also naturally gluten-free.
The gorgeous plate that serves my Fasulye Pilaki in the photo is a gift from my very talented ceramic artist cousin, dear Nihal, who co-owns the beautiful Zen Ceramics in Istanbul with other seramic artists. Zen Ceramics combines the Anatolian Culture with contemporary designs at their hand made unique porcelain objects, suitable for daily life. I count myself lucky to have a wonderful collection of their beautiful plates so my heartfelt thanks to them!
- 1 can – 440 gr / 14 oz. of cooked white beans or cannellini beans, juice drained OR 275 gr/ 1½ cups/ 10 oz. dried white beans or cannellini beans*
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, quartered and diced in small pieces
- 1 medium potato, cut in small cubes
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, finely diced
- 45 ml / 3 tablespoons of olive oil for cooking
- 30 ml/ 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to drizzle before serving
- Handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 ml/ 1 tsp sugar
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 8 fl oz. / 1 cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- If using dried beans, soak the dried white or cannellini beans overnight or for at least 8 hours. Then drain the beans, rinse and transfer to a pot, filled with plenty of cold water.
- Bring the pot to the boil, partially cover the pot and simmer for about 30 – 35 minutes. Make sure the beans become tender, but not soft or mushy, they should still have a bite to them. Drain and rinse the cooked beans under cold water and set them aside.
- If you are using precooked beans in can, simply drain its juice and rinse under cold, running water and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in the pot and stir in the onions, sauté for 2 – 3 minutes, until they start to soften.
- Add the garlic, carrots and potato, combine well and sauté for another 2 minutes. Pour in the water, cover and let them cook for 10 minutes in low to medium heat.
- Stir in the beans, sugar, lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine well.
- Turn the heat to low, cover the pan.
- Simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes, until the beans and vegetables are cooked (but not mushy). Check the seasoning and add a little more salt or ground black pepper if needed.
- Drizzle the extra virgin olive oil over the Fasulye Pilaki and let it cool in the pan, covered.
- Serve Fasulye Pilaki at room temperature or cold as part of a mezze spread or appetizer, garnished with chopped parsley and wedges of lemon by the side to squeeze over.