Have you ever been to Zaytinya? It’s one of my favorite restaurants in DC. My mom came to visit me recently, so I took her there. We went a little crazy ordering all the things we thought sounded good (it’s a small plates restaurant, so we felt totally justified in ordering a ton). Some things sounded unusual enough to try (butternut squash hummus), and some things I had had before and knew were great (roasted and stuffed eggplants).
And then there was this dish that was almost an afterthought. We realized that we should order one more thing, and so we chose a dish called Piyaz. It was described as “giant warm beans, kale, oven roasted tomatoes, garlic.” Sure, why not?
It ended up being the best thing we ate there. This dish was so amazing, we even asked our waiter if we could get the recipe (supposedly we’ll get it via email, though I doubt it). It was so simple, so bright, so delicious, we both instantly wanted to remake it.
So, armed with a picture I found online, the description from the menu, and a vague memory of how good it was, I created the following dish. I couldn’t find giant beans (or at least I couldn’t find giant white beans that cooked well), so I substituted canned cannellini beans. Other than the fact that the giant beans simply looked better, I thought it was a fine substitute.
This recipe is simple, full of good for you foods, and it tastes pretty darn good. It's a great recipe for anyone recovering from food overload after the holidays. I hope you like it!
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
½ red onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and chopped into smaller pieces
1 pound (or 3 cans) white beans, cooked and drained
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup vegetable stock
Juice of 1-2 lemons, to taste
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon agave, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350F
1. Take the cherry tomato halves and toss them with a teaspoon of olive oil until all of them are lightly, and evenly, coated. Spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes. Set them aside until you need them.
2. Pour the remaining olive oil into a saucepan and warm it up over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the vegetable stock and the lemon juice to the pan and bring to a simmer. When it’s simmering, add in the chopped kale leaves. Toss the whole mixture until the kale darkens and shrivels.
4. Once the kale has reduced, add in the beans, tomatoes, and dill. Toss until everything is evenly mixed. Adjust the salt and pepper, and add as much agave as you prefer (I only added about a teaspoon). Serve warm or room temperature.