Black-Eyed Bean Salad
Salata de fijones
Fizon or as it is known in Turkey, Piyaz, is a refreshing salad made with black-eyed beans,
red onions, garnished with hard-boiled eggs, olives, and fresh herbs. This healthy, wholesome salad doused in a lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil dressing is aromatic with ground cumin and elevates any meal.
For the beans:
1 cup (175g/6oz) dried black-eyed beans, soaked for 2 hours in cold water to cover, drained and rinsed
1 whole small onion, peeled
2 dried bay leaves
1 carrot, cut into chunks sea salt
For the dressing:
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1⁄8 tsp ground cumin
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tsp sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
For the salad:
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced length ways
3 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley (use leaves and tender stems)
2 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill
For the garnish:
2 hard-boiled eggs
a handful pitted oil-cured black olives
6 bottled or canned anchovy fillets
Cook the beans: Put the beans in a large pan with enough cold water to cover by 2.5cm (1in).
Add the onion, bay leaves and carrot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for about 11⁄4 hours or until the beans are soft to the bite but not mushy. Check frequently as they cook, adding more boiling water as necessary. Add the salt in the last 10 minutes of cooking.
Meanwhile whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
When the beans are cooked, drain well and discard the onion, bay leaves and carrot. While the beans are still warm, tip into a serving bowl with the sliced onion, parsley and dill.
Pour the dressing immediately over the beans to absorb the flavours. Toss well to combine.
Just before serving, taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with finely chopped or quartered eggs, pitted olives and anchovy fillets and serve.
You can substitute a 450g (16oz) can of black-eyed beans drained and rinsed, or any canned legume (pulse) of your choice, instead of dried beans. Warm the canned beans in their liquid, drain and then pour in the prepared dressing to better absorb the flavours.
Twist on Tradition:
You can add 1⁄2 cup chopped pickled cucumbers and 2 diced ripe plum tomatoes. Toss in just before serving.