In Israel and throughout the Mediterranean Basin, salads, or salatim, rarely contain lettuce. Some are raw, and some are cooked — like matbucha or Moroccan carrots. Either way, I love them because they keep well in the refrigerator. Every day you can have a little of this and a little of that, and they add to the meal. I make a different salad almost every day so that we always have a healthy and flavorful assortment.
Piyaz is a perfect summer salad. It’s much healthier than potato or macaroni salad, full of protein and is so easy to prepare.
My recipe calls for canned cannellini beans, so it can be thrown together in a few minutes. If you make it a day ahead, the beans will have a chance to marinate, but it also tastes wonderful just after you prepare it. Prep time is less than 10 minutes.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 large beefsteak tomato, diced
1 ½ cups chopped parsley
Half a red onion, sliced thin
Juice of half a lemon or more to taste
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon coarse kosher salt or sea salt
½ teaspoon Aleppo pepper
Diced green bell pepper (optional)
Rinse and drain the beans in a colander, placing a paper towel over the top to help them dry. Or, if you have the time, simply let them sit in the colander to dry before you chop up the vegetables.
Transfer the beans to a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and stir well before serving.
Feel free to cover with plastic wrap and let the flavors marinate for a few hours or overnight.
This also makes a great vegetarian main dish if served with hard boiled eggs. It’s very refreshing in the warmer months either way. Enjoy!
A note about Aleppo pepper: I love this pepper because it has a slightly smoky flavor and a tiny bit of kick — it is not as spicy as cayenne pepper. My usual brand was sold out, so I purchased something new. I almost ruined a holiday of meals because the new jar was twice as spicy. I will be changing the amounts of Aleppo pepper in my recipes going forward, and suggest that you may add more to your taste. In my recipes written before May of 2021, I suggest halving the amount written and adding more if you feel the recipe needs it. PJC
Jessica Grann is a home chef living in Pittsburgh.