Borlotti Beans Mezze (“Barbunya Pilaki”)


My dad is obsessed with borlotti and white beans, most notably in the form of soup, and because he was the cook of the house, needless to say, I grew up on a lot of beans. I’m not complaining, because they are packed with nutrition and are quite delicious. This recipe for “barbunya pilaki” is a delicious vegan way to enjoy protein and fiber-heavy beans without much work at all. “Pilaki” refers to a mezze-style dish that is cooked in a sauce made out of onion, garlic, carrot, potato, tomato or tomato paste, sugar and olive oil. In Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine, pilaki dishes are often made with beans as the base. This recipe nails it. Simply nails it. Enjoy it as a side dish or snack (and hint: it’s better the next day!)

Beans beans, they are good for your heart, the more you eat them, the more you…glow!

White Beans: are one of the most concentrated food sources of the detoxifying enzyme molybdenum, are low on the glycemic index, keep cravings at bay, lower the risk of heart disease and adult-onset diabetes, slow the absorption of carbohydrates (and thus body fat), prevent premature aging with their high-antioxidant content, and are very high in magnesium and thus helpful for handling stress and preventing celiac disease and gastrointestinal problems.

Baked Borlotti Beans (“Barbunya Pilaki”)

Serves 6-10


  • 1-1/2 to 2 lb fresh beans (shell in) – yields about 3 cups after shelling
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 scallions, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 red potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
  • 4 cups of water


Soak the beans overnight in water.


Heat the olive oil in a large pot and start sauteing the onion and red pepper. Two minutes later, add scallions, garlic, carrot, potato and tomato. Stir and continue to cook until tender. Add the tomato paste and stir until evenly distributed. After two more minutes, stir in the beans, seasonings and water.



Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for another 30 minutes, until the beans are tender and much of the liquid has cooked off. Serve chilled with a squeeze of lemon.


Bon Appetit!

xo Aylin



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