The first time I had Pilaki was several months ago when I stopped in to a local Middle Eastern cuisine restaurant, Anatolian Kitchen. My daughter Katie is a vegetarian and I knew there would be excellent options there for her on a lunch date.
My food knowledge is fairly extensive as I read, breathe, and live food on a regular basis, but somehow I had never heard of this particular dish. Pilaki is a Turkish dish made of what you see here in this recipe, and is named differently for the color or type of bean being used: barbunya for red or pink beans, and fasulye with white beans.
Katie really enjoyed this, so when I got home I looked up recipes and used several to come up with what I knew she would like. This is that recipe. By all means, cook your beans from dried if you have the time, but this quicker method is tasty, as well. I also have thrown everything into the pressure cooker for a quick 15 minute cook and that was delicious, as well.
1 14 ounce can of roman, borlotti, or cranberry beans drained- can also use kidney beans (pictured)
4 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion - finely chopped
2 cloves garlic - minced
1 large carrot - peeled and diced
1 large potato - peeled and diced
2 large plum tomatoes - seeded and chopped
2 cups water
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley - chopped
1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot, add onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add potato, beans and tomatoes with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and a thick stew has formed.
3. Stir in lemon juice and parsley - reserving a Tablespoon of parsley for serving.
4. Ladle into bowls and to with parsley.