This is a truly superb dish. It is apparently one of the most loved recipes at the Çırağan Palace in Istanbul and this version comes courtesy of Silvena Rowe.
It's a masterpiece of textural contrast so do follow all the steps as mentioned down to the last step.
The salad is on the bottom right. (Remaining recipes to follow.)
1/2 cup mung beans
2 small onions (sliced fine)
3 shallots (sliced fine)
1/4 cup olive oil (your regular)
3 tbsp olive oil (your finest)
6 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 tsp Dijon mustard
8-10 sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
1 tbsp. nigella seeds (toasted)
Cook the mung beans for about 30 minutes until tender. Be careful not to overcook them. You want a little bit of crunch. Drain and set aside.
Toast the nigella seeds lightly in a skillet. Be careful since they will burn easily. Set aside.
Heat the regular olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions and sautée for 20-25 minutes until they are soft and lightly golden. Do not let them caramelize. Add a tbsp. of water if they seem to be cooking too quickly.
(Note: the onions are cooked but the shallots are not! The textural game is important.)
Combine the fine olive oil, shallots, vinegar, parsley, mustard, sea salt and black pepper to make a fine vinaigrette.
Toss the vinaigrette with the mung beans and the sun-dried tomatoes. Top with caramelized onions and the toasted nigella seeds.
Serve warm or at room temperature.