Black-Eyed Bean Salad

Salata de fijones

About the Recipe

Fijones, or as is known in Turkey, Piyaz, is a refreshing, rustic black-eyed bean salad garnished with hard-boiled eggs, olives, red onions and fragrant fresh herbs.
While the beans are still hot they are doused in a tangy lemon and olive oil dressing, aromatic with garlic and cumin.
This protein packed wholesome salad is best made ahead so that the flavours have time to meld with the delicious dressing before serving.
Salata de fijones traditionally appears at the Sephardic Rosh Hashanah Seder as these beans symbolize a New Year with abundance.

Ingredients

For the beans: 175g (6oz) (1 cup) 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 or lemon juice

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 lengthways 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 (optional)

Preparation

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 (optional) and serve.

Stella’s Hint: * 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.