We go out for brunch quite a bit. If you haven’t worked it out yet, it is easily my favourite meal of the day. My preferred lazy Saturday afternoon cafe has amazing vegetarian baked beans, and I get them probably 80% of the time. When perusing the Turkish Flavours cookbook I happened on this Turkish Baked Beans recipe and knew it would be one of the items I’d make as part of our testing the cookbook feast. Have you entered the giveaway yet?
If you can believe it I’d never cooked with dried beans before. I’ve found an organic brand of beans whose cans are BPA free so the pantry cupboard is well stocked for last minute dishes. That said, it does make a difference to use dried ones, and it is easy to do – provided you plan in advance. If you are going to do the prep to get the dried ones ready to use it takes an overnight soaking and then a further hour of boiling before you even start your dish. Anyway. Worth it for this recipe, worth it whenever you have the time. I’ll keep my tinned ones just in case though!
I kept pretty true to the recipe in the book – for a change. The main modifications were adding a bit more tomato than originally called for to make it a touch saucy-er and easier to substitute with tinned tomatoes; not adding any sugar; and reducing the oil substantially from 1 c to 1/4 c because I didn’t think it was remotely necessary to use a full cup worth.
Turkish Pepper Paste is listed as an ingredient in many recipes throughout the book. It is described in the glossary as ‘Made from long red chillies that have been minced and then sun-dried, this thick red paste is used as a flavor enhancer or a savory spread. It is available in a hot variety and a sweet variety, and can be replaced with tomato paste.‘ There is however, for as many times as it appears, no actual recipe to create it. I decided, based on the aforementioned definition, that I would add some paprika to the recommended tomato paste substitution to achieve a more intense flavour. As such I used 1 tsp each hot and sweet paprika to 2 Tbsp tomato paste.
These baked beans were delicious. Rich and hearty, exactly what I needed. RJ even ate them without a single ‘I don’t like beans’ complaint – success! Now go enter that competition and get your hand on this book.
Turkish Baked Beans
Adapted from Turkish Flavours by Sevtap Yuce
250g dried red kidney beans [approx 1 1/4 cups]*
Water for soaking and boiling beans
1/4 c olive oil
1 brown onion, roughly diced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1-2 tsp smoked hot or sweet paprika*
1 handful thyme sprigs [or 2 tsp dry thyme]
3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
800 g ripe tomatoes [approx 6 medium], roughly diced
sea salt and cracked black pepper
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
small handful flat leaf parsley, torn to sprinkle
lemon wedges to squeeze
Turkish Bread to dip
Olive oil to drizzle
Soak beans in water minimum 8 hours, drain. Simmer in water 1 hour, drain. Saute onion 10 mins till soft but not brown. Add tomato paste, paprika, thyme, garlic and saute further 5 mins. Add tomatoes and beans and bring to boil, reduce heat, simmer covered 1 hour. Uncover and simmer 5-10 mins more to thicken sauce if necessary. Season with sea salt and pepper and stir through the vinegar.
Drizzle over a bit of olive oil and sprinkle over torn parsley. Serve with lemon wedges and big’ol hunks of Turkish Bread.
In a large bowl, soak beans in cold water overnight or for at least 8 hours. Make sure the water covers the beans by at least the depth of the beans themselves plus a bit more. They will absorb a lot of water so it’s better to have too much than too little.
Drain the beans, place in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour until beans are tender, adding more water if necessary. Drain.
Heat oil in a large heavy-based pan and saute the onion for 10 minutes on medium low heat until soft and translucent but not brown. Add tomato paste, paprika, thyme, garlic and saute for a further 5 mins.
Add the drained beans and tomatoes, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Uncover and simmer 5-10 mins more to thicken sauce if necessary. Season with sea salt and pepper and stir through the vinegar
- If you can’t get your hands on nice tomatoes use 2 regular size [400g] cans of crushed no-salt added tomatoes in juice. You may want to reduce the cooking time a bit – or keep a close eye on the sauce as you may need to add a bit of water.
- Same for canned beans which obviously wouldn’t need to be soaked or boiled. Rinse and add with the tomatoes to the onion mixture.
- The original recipe calls for Turkish Pepper Paste, I substituted for this the tomato paste mixed with paprika.
For cafe eggs place 1 c of the beans in a small fry pan over medium heat. With a spoon make a hole in the centre of the beans pushing sauce to edges of pan, crack an egg into the hole and and cover the pan. Cook for 2 minutes or so until done to your liking.