White beans may not sound like the most exciting ingredient in the pantry, unless you’ve tried these Turkish Beans with Pickled Tomatoes, which we humbly suggest make the best one-pot dinner you’ll eat all winter. You won't need any more convincing after watching the latest episode of Milk Street TV, where Milk Street Cook Bianca Borges teaches Christopher Kimball how to perfect this simple but deeply satisfying dish.
From feijoada in Brazil to cassoulet in France, bean stews are beloved around the world. We’ve fallen hard for Turkey’s etli kuru fasulye (fah-SOOL-yay), a common meal found throughout Istanbul’s lokantas (workmen’s restaurants). In this episode, you’ll see how we’ve adapted the recipe with a few tips and ingredients that are easy to find. First, this stew is traditionally made with a large Turkish kidney bean called a dermason. But that was hard to source, so we recommend using cannellini or great northern beans because of their thick skin. And start with dried beans. (Pro-tip: When buying beans, look for shiny skins. Avoid beans that are dried and wrinkled.)
Second, thanks to some of our favorite pointers here at Milk Street, you’ll see how easy this stew is to prepare. There’s no need to sauté onions before adding them, no need to brown meat and no need to mince garlic either. You simply add everything into the beans and let the ingredients do the work.
Another key to this recipe? The pickled tomatoes. And don’t worry: they’re really easy to prepare. The traditional stew comes with pickled vegetables, and because we add diced tomatoes into the beans for a bright flavor, we chose pickled tomatoes as a complimentary accent. (Watch the segment for a neat trick for coring and seeding tomatoes.)
All told, this dish is a one-pot wonder that you’ll want to make on a Sunday and eat for the rest of the week. Could they be the best beans in the world? Make them and find out.
Read more about the origin of this Turkish recipe here and learn how to make it on Milk Street TV.