Our daughter was conceived in Turkey, which also happened to be our last trip overseas as a couple (funny how that happens), so the country, its culture, particularly its food, holds a special place in our hearts. We were both on winter break (me from teaching and him from school), so we had a month to travel around the country. One of our favorite meals was kofte, rice pilaf, white bean salad, and lentil soup from the Sultanahmet Koftecisi in Istanbul. We spent a week in Istanbul and ate their kofte at least four times (and breakfast was included at our hotel). I’ve now made it my life’s work to make a darn good kofte (I’ll keep you posted). Outside of my new mission in life, the Sultanahmet made me realize the magical pairing that is the kofte and white bean salad. The white bean salad from the Sultanahmet is a simple affair- lightly dressed white beans, shredded carrots, and lettuce with a side of lemon. My recipe packs more flavor than the original. It’s a lovely medley of white beans, arugula, purple onion, tomato, and a dressing that uses a Trader Joe’s cheat: bruschetta mix. It’s so easy to make and so delightful to eat, especially when paired with kofte, orzo pilaf, and tziziki (TJ’s has a good one). It’s also great with Curry Roasted Cauliflower or One-Pot Greek Chicken and Rice. What a strange, beautiful pair; a happy meal: from love to home to family memories, and on.