The Best Way To Eat Pinto Beans

Sunday September 30, 2012

By Elizabeth Taviloglu, Guide for Turkish Food

Are you a vegetarian, watching your budget, or do you simply love beans? If so, here is the perfect recipe for you. Turkish-style pinto beans in olive oil.

It's a delightful new way to eat pinto beans the Turkish way. Although this recipe may be new to you, Turkish people have been eating beans this way for hundreds of years.

In fact, beans, often teamed up with rice, are staples and one of the most common ingredients in Turkish cuisine. In Turkey, beans are loved by all, but none as much as the pinto bean. Especially when it's picked, podded and cooked fresh.

In Turkish, this dish is called "zeytinyagli barbunya" (zay-TEEN' yah-LUH' bar-BOON'-yah), which means pinto beans in olive oil. The beans are cooked with onions, garlic, tomato and carrots. It's traditionally served cold as a "meze" or appetizer and it's popular all over the country.

Due to it's natural sweetness, I like to serve it in place of baked beans along with hot dogs or barbecue fare. Try it and surprise your family and friends with a lighter, less sugary version of traditional baked beans.

Along with being economical, the nutritional bonus from beans is phenominal. Pinto beans are high in protein, iron, fiber and antioxidants. No wonder they're a vegetarian and vegan favorite.

If you can't get fresh pinto beans, you can substitute dry beans. They must be soaked over night, rinsed well, then pre-cooked before using them in the recipe. Either way, the result will be a delicious bean side dish you'll want to make again and again.

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