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Tomato Pilaf And Pinto Beans In Olive Oil

May 21, 2011

Zeytinyağlı Barbunya

Pinto beans appear towards the end of May around the same time as tomatoes redden and ripen, giving me what I need to cook our favourite summer duo. Something uniquely Turkish. Pinto beans get smaller and tastier in summer months but I can't wait until then to share this recipe. The only complication is to decide how to enjoy them: together when both pilaf and beans are warm or to eat pilaf seperately and enjoy the beans chilled with lemon and chopped parsley? Tough decision.

Tabak ve PilavThe plate I broke in Rome immediately after I bought it. Looks newer than before thanks to Japanese glue (and Photoshop)

And of course about our growing family...Ten days old B. Junior finally opened his eyes yesterday. His eyes are mat and he doesn't seem to grasp what he sees yet but at least this way he looks more like a kitten rather than a mouse. I was worried when his mother Tavsan wasn't friendly to our other newfound youngster kitten Bıdık, but now the two are getting along too well, playing and running around like crazy, possibly leaving baby B. Junior a bit too neglected. On top of that, from Bıdık's point of view B. Junior is nothing more than a squeaking rubber toy she can bite, twist and scratch. I'm worried how B. Junior will survive the following two weeks without us, in the face of Bıdık's torturing and his mom's partial neglection.


I am taking two weeks off from all the cat madness I've been exposed to lately. A trip we had planned months ago is finally around the corner. Doğa has added wine tasting to his list of hobbies that eventually I keep my fingers crossed for this one because I enjoy wine as much as he does. This is why we picked Napa Valley as our next destination and Los Angeles and San Francisco while we go all the way out there.

In my previous post about Rome, I mentioned Doğa's obsession about preplanning and organizing vacations. He reads restaurant reviews for hours after taking recommendations from friends and friends of friends. So it didn't surprise me when he appeared with a file of cronologically ordered hard copies of reservations. He has been kind of too obsessed with this trip and tried to include me and my brother to his frenzy. Ok I may sound like I'm complaining but there is nothing like having someone who knows what kind of things you like, decide everything for you. This is why he reserved a table at Ubuntu, a Vegan restaurant and a Yoga studio because he knew how much I'd enjoy it even though he is not very enthusiastic about vegetarian food. Brix and Redd are the other two restaurants I'm thrilled to have in our schedule as well as A16 in San Francisco whose pizzas I look forward to taste and compare with those of La Gatta Mangiona in Rome. I can't estimate which of these restaurants will knock my socks off and in which ones I'll take pictures that will make me proud. So no promises beforehand.


Hopefully I will come back with a lot of material in four weeks unless I am too boulversed with jet lag and post-vacation depression. When I get back I'm hoping to find B. Junior safe and sound, our appartment looking a bit recognizable from all the cat quarrel that might take place in our absence and a little bit of more sunshine. Take care until then!

Barbunya Domatesli Pilav

Pinto Beans In Olive Oil


  • 1 kg pinto beans, shelled
  • 4 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Wash the beans and boil them in boiling water for 10 minutes until their spots disappear. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a medium size pot broil onion with olive oil for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium when onions start to sizzle.
  3. Add tomatoes and pinto beans and stir. Add salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Bring it to a boil over high heat then cover the pot and reduce heat to minimum. After 30 minutes add 1 cup of boiling water and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until beans are soft. Serve with Tomato Pilav when lukewarm and enjoy cold with some lemon and parsley.

Tomato Pilaf


  • 1 cup rice, washed, drained
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 medium tomatoes, halved
  • salt


  1. Grate the tomatoes and discard the skins. If the grate comes out very juicy drain and transfer the juice in a separate cup and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in a flat pilaf pot over medium-high heat. When butter starts browning add grated tomatoes. Broil for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until butter and tomatoes boil down.
  3. Add rice and broil for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add boiling water over the tomato juice you have set aside and complete it to 1 cup and add it over the rice. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Level rice with a wooden spoon and cover the pot. When it comes to a boil reduce heat to minimum and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until holes start to form on the pilaf. Remove from heat and leave covered for 15 minutes to let it brew.
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