Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Pizazz of Piyaz - Turkish Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts & Zahtar Dressing

Piyaz - Turkish Bean Salad

One of Turkey’s classic, spectacular salads, piyaz highlights any
kind of bean as its main ingredient. “Meaty” black-eyed peas,
tiny ephemeral bursts of pomegranate, and the sweetly
woodsy taste of zahtar tease and please the palate.

Dried Black-Eyed Peas

Black-eyed peas. So cute, I could eat 'em up.

Turkish Black-Eyed Pea Salad with Pomegranate, Walnuts and Zahtar Dressing – Based on the Food Down Under recipe


4 cups cooked and drained black-eyed peas (comprehensive directions for various soaking and cooking methods here; 2 cups dried will yield about 4 cups cooked)
1 bunch scallions, chopped (use both white and green parts)
½ cup broken walnuts, toasted by tossing in a dry skillet over medium heat for about 8 minutes
½ cup fresh pomegranate arils (the fleshy, juicy seeds)
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (or keep whole if leaves are small)
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 3 large lemons
4 teaspoons zahtar
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper


Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, zahtar, salt and pepper to combine. In a separate large bowl, tip in black-eyed peas, scallions, walnuts, pomegranate arils and parsley. Stir carefully to avoid crushing the pomegranate arils. Pour dressing over salad, stirring once more before serving. Serves 4 as a side salad; 2 as a main course. --

Piyaz - Turkish Bean Salad

This post is for Sra of When My Soup Came Alive, hosting My Legume Love Affair - Fourth Helping. Sra is accepting recipes through October 31, the more the merrier. Please stop by her site early November. The round-up is sure to be a bountiful array of extraordinary bean dishes from around the world.

I am also sending this on to Lisa of Lisa's Kitchen, co-creator and January 2011 host of No Croutons Required, the monthly soup-and-salad event which she and Jac of Tinned Tomatoes collaborate on.  This month's theme is Black-Eyed Peas.

Been There, Done That ~

Persian Lentil Pomegranate Soup
Cannellini, Fennel and Olives

Other People's Eats ~

Turkish Garbanzo Salad


  1. wow what a combination of flavours and textures - now I am wishing for a fresh pomegranate to make this but I don't think they are in season right now!

  2. looks like a really healthy and filling dish ... & the colours are gorgeous. I like your photo of the beans close up, the lighting is so soft and really brings out the beauty ^_^

  3. In many Indian languages, pyaz/pyaj means onions. I wonder if they have any common roots. Except for zahtar and parsley, I can get the rest of the ingredients here without much difficulty, in fact, I've just boiled black eyed beans for a salad myself. Thanks for this lovely entry!

  4. That looks just spectacular! I've been buying pomegranates and just eating them as-is because I couldn't figure out what to do with them. Now, I know!

  5. Great pictues and salad, how could it not be pretty with b.e.p.s and pomegranate seeds?

    I've learned a new word -arils will remember that one :)

  6. i would surely like to have that bowl..the combination of the flavours is indeed tempting... i don't know where to get zahtar , in my area....

  7. Wow, what a fantastic combination of flavors.

  8. This is such a lovely dish and very nicely presented. I totally dig the ingredients that you used.

  9. Such an elegant dish Susan! You are a master of flavour combination.

  10. what an interesting idea! i like pretty much anything with beans. And I also like how the dish disappears in the background and all you can see are the beans!

  11. That looks fantastic! I have tons of dried beans in my cabinet waiting to be cooked. Do you think it's necessary to use black eyed peas?

  12. Those black-eyed peas are very cute! I love that first photo. Simple and stunning!

  13. Beautiful photos, you have a great eye. I love interesting salads. My maternal grandparents came from Persia in the early 1900's because the Turks were massacring them. But I plan to make this anyways, it just sounds too good. Bookmarked, thanks.

  14. Beautiful! I occasionally have zahtar in my pantry but never have enough ideas for how to use it.

  15. This sounds delicious. Just beautiful and a great use of this fall fruit. I can't wait to try. Where can I get zahtar?

  16. Can't stand the band but I lurvve the legume!! And Zah'tar, deliciously sour and tangy, perfect with the white, mealy beans! Looks gorg(e) too!!

  17. What a beautiful take! Love how it looks so fresh and crunchy...

  18. Oh! its a beauty, I have tried making black eyed beans in a curry,it was pleasure eating.
    The salad looks very refreshing with pomegranate juice.I dont know much about Zah'tar or the place to look in.May be I can try it without that.Thanks for stoping by at my small world.
    hugs and smiles

  19. wow, I love the flavor burst in this recipe! I've never cooked with zahtar..wonder where I can find it??

  20. Such nice captures... So impressive!

  21. Lovely dish and very healthy indeed!

  22. Susan, I made this salad with most of the ingredients missing (I forgot the walnuts, scallions, pepper, and didn't have the zahtar - added lime juice, a bit of chilli powder and coriander and salt, of course) and it was still a hit!

  23. I'm going to have to try this. I have never cooked with Zahtar before so I am not sure if I will be able to find it near me but thankfully there seem to be a lot of recipes online to make one's own blend. Your dish looks beautiful and healthful as always.

  24. Hi Susan,
    the salad has such lovely ingredients.. a must try recipe..

  25. Hey, this is absolutely awesome !

  26. This look so beautiful and delicious. I have been on a pomegranate kick lately. The Legume Love Affair sounds really cool!

  27. Susan, lovie ~ You know of my love for walnuts and Middle Eastern spice mixes, so I will bookmark this for autumn next year when pomegranates will be available. Actually, sometimes they're flown in from the US, but I have no idea hw much this affects pomegranates - and, of course, the carbon footprint does not encourage my purchase of them. I can wait. Thank you for opening my eyes to this bean salad.

  28. Healthy and lovely, how can anyone resist this dish? Great job!

  29. This looks absolutely spectacular. I've never had black-eyed peas before, but I do think I have all the ingredients to make this right now. Just have to get pomegranates (had a couple a few days ago). Bookmarked: thanks!

  30. Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments! I'm having major problems with my browsers (Firefox & IE) these days and cannot keep them from crashing long enough to spend the proper amount of time needed to comment and make the rounds on your sites. Please bear with me - tech help is on the way soon.

  31. Thanks, Johanna. I'm never quite sure when pomegranates are in seasons in these parts, either. They pop up in the markets at the most inconsistent times.

    Wiffy – Thanks. It is a healthy dish, and a pretty one to present to guests.

    Sra – I've read that pyaz/pyaj do actually mean “onion” in Persian, so the common roots seem apparent enough. Black-eyed peas have become one of my most favorite legumes.

    Ricki – Thanks very much. Pomegranates are fun to eat “as is,” too. : )

    Hi, Kelly-Jane! Good to see you! Thanks!

    Dear Nanditha – You could use lime juice to replace the tang of zahtar. So glad to see you! Hope you are well!

    Thanks, Kalyn. It is a truly healthy, delicious and good-looking dish.

    Welcome, Anudivya! Thank you for your visit and kind words.

    Lisa – Thanks. Some ingredients just click right in every way.

    Hi, Olga! Welcome! Thank you. Sometimes black really does make the subject pop.

    Welcome, Jesse! Thanks! Any kind of bean would work, although white beans are more traditional. I hope you experiment.

    Thank you, Shari! I'm fond of that first photo, too. : )

    Thank you, Amber. I am sorry about your family history. Food is loaded with all kinds of emotions; the connection can often be so powerful that we cannot overcome it. I hope you enjoy this recipe, but I respect anyone's wish to avoid painful reminders.

    Thanks, Lydia. Zahtar doesn't seem to be used often, but it really sings in certain dishes.

    Bonjour, Manger la Ville! Thank you. You can get zahtar in Middle Eastern grocers, Whole Foods, and Penzey's.

    Freya – I hear you! Pop doesn't do it for me, either, but this bean dish really does. Thanks!

    Thank you, Jude!

    Welcome, Dhi! Thank you! Fresh and crunchy describe it well.

    Hi, Jaya! Welcome! Thanks! Black-eyed pea curry is heavenly. A little lime juice and toasted ground cumin would work as a zahtar substitute.

    Hi, Mansi! Good to see you! Thanks!

    Thank you, Indranee! Welcome!

    Sra – I love your rendition. You know how I like coriander. : )

    Hi, Kelly. Thank you. Thyme and sesame are two of the three ingredients in zahtar, easy enough to find. I would toast the sesame before crushing it, then add a little lime juice for tang.

    Hello, dear Swati! Thank you so much!

    Bonjour, Anne! Merci beaucoup!

    Welcome, Jillian! Thank you! Hope you can join MLLA. The event runs every month with a different host.

    Shaun – I knew this would grab you. I can never tell what's in season anymore, although I do know that pomegranates, however U.S.-grown they are, are not local to my region of the country.

    Hullo, Dragon! Thanks so much. Good to see you!

    Thank you, ECV! Hope you enjoy it.

  32. "Oh Susan", she whispers. I am completely in love with that first photograph.