Piyaz

June 14, 2012

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Piyaz- White Beans and Kale with a Dill Lemon Broth

Piyaz inspired by Jose Andreas' version of the classic dish

Heading back to Washington DC for this year’s Summer Fancy Food Show got me to thinking about all the places we ate and drank during the FFS last year…..and brought to mind the the one dish I had to recreate when we got back: Piyaz.  If you’re like me (before last summer at least), you’re wondering just what the heck “Piyaz” is…..
Doing a bit of research, I found that Piyaz is a Turkish meze or salad salad made with beans and onions, mixed with other vegetables and often hard-boiled egg.  As my re-creation was inspired by the dish I ate at Jose Andreas’  restaurant, Zaytinya,  in DC, I didn’t follow that definition too closely.
 
Andrea’s version came in a delicious broth though, so my Piyaz is made in the style of his re-imaging of the classic Piyaz.  I was very, very happy with how my version came out.  It’s great as a side dish or meatless main….and you could even use the drained beans and vegetables as a topping for bruschetta.
 
Piyaz – White Beans and Kale in Dill-Lemon Broth
 
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I Onion, peeled, cut in half and sliced
3 cloves Garlic, sliced
1 Bunch Russian Kale, chopped (can subsitute any variety of kale you like)
2 cups Chicken Stock or Broth
4 Tablespoons Fresh Dill
1 Lemon, squeezed
Dash of Frank’s Red Hot
2 15-oz cans of Cannelini Beans, drained and rinsed ( or use 7-8 cups of cooked beans)
Salt (or Garlic Salt) and Pepper to taste
 
Use a large, wide-bottomed pan or skillet for this dish.  You want the beans to be mostly immersed in the liquid, but not all the way submerged the way some of them would be in a narrower pan.
 
Put your skillet on the stove, turn the heat to medium high, add the Olive Oil. (Normally I would just use cooking spray, but in this case, the olive oil is really a part of the dish.)  Immediately add the onion and garlic, season with a bit of salt and pepper, and let them all warm up together.  (This is one of those times you don’t want to preheat your pan – you don’t want any color on the vegetables, you just want the flavor to get into the oil.)
 
Let them cook for about 5 minutes – being careful not to brown them – and then add in your chopped or torn kale.  Stir through and cook 5 (if using a tender variety of kale like Russian) to 10 (if using the hardier type, such as Curly – which is regularly found in supermarkets), stirring occasionally.
 
Add the Chicken Stock, Lemon Juice, Hot Sauce and Fresh Dill – raise the heat to high, bring to a simmer, then immediately add the Cannelini Beans. Add a bit more salt and pepper, stir the beans through the liquid and then reduce the heat to medium-low.
 
Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, with the lid just ajar, stirring occassionally, then turn the heat to low – all the way to low-put the cover all the way on and let sit for 10 minutes more,stirring every few minutes.
 
When the 10 minutes is up, taste and adjust for seasoning.  If you find the broth is a bit too acidic, add another Tablespoon or two of Olive Oil, this will balance it out.  Turn off the heat.
 
You can eat right away, but the flavors will continue to develop as it sits there….just be sure not to keep the heat on – cooking it will turn the beans to mush, and that’s not what you’re going for.
 
 
Makes 2-3 main dish servings or 3-4 side dish servings, depending on your appetite!  I love this dish so much I can easily eat a full half of it without blinking…and wish I had room for the other half! *smile*
 
Notes:
Go easy on the salt to begin with…every can of beans – or home-cooked beans) and every chicken stock/ broth is going to have a different level of salt, so it’s best to go lightly and round it out at the end.
 
The Piyaz at Zaytinya had tomato in it…and though I had planned to use tomato as well, I forgot!  It was delicious without, so it certianly isn’t necessary…but if you want to add one fresh, chopped tomato in here, by all means do!
 
Easily made fully-vegetarian by omitting the chicken stock and subbing vegetable stock or water.  You just may need to up the salt/pepper/dill to give it enough oomph.
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Filed Under: DC, Mains, Recipe, Savory, Sides, Vegetarian-Friendly

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