If you’re looking for a refreshing salad to accompany your barbecues or summery picnics, then look no further than this Turkish white bean salad (fasulye piyazı)!
You’ve got crunchy raw onions and tomatoes, tender white beans, and the salad is garnished with hard-boiled eggs, olives and chili flakes. There is also just enough sourness from the lemon vinaigrette and sumac to lift everything up. Turkish white bean salad is served cold but still promises you lots of flavor with each bite!
A CLASSIC SIDE DISH
The first time I tasted Turkish white bean salad was as a side in a restaurant that only served fried liver. However, piyaz is served next to every kind of meat-based dish like köftes (meatballs) or kebabs. This is a very simple recipe and I am sure you won’t have any problem making a Turkish white bean salad that is just as good as the one from the restaurants!
Small disclaimer: this is a recipe for a traditional Turkish white bean salad, the one you will most commonly find in Turkey. But, if you go to Antalya (South-West) you will come across a very different version of fasulye piyazı. Their Turkish white bean salad is drenched in a tahini-based sauce (they use a lot of tahini in that region) with lots of garlic in it. I’ve never eaten it so I would be hard-pressed to give a recipe for this version. Plus, unlike people from Antalya, I’m not that crazy about tahini, at least not in big quantities.
It might seem like a lot of steps just to make a salad but the steps are really easy (and you can cheat by using canned beans). Also, it makes A LOT of Turkish white bean salad, so you can benefit from your work for several days!
→ COOK THE BEANS
Soak the beans for 12h or overnight. Drain the beans and rinse them. Put them in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease to low. Cover with a lid and cook until the beans are really tender, about 2h20. Drain the beans thoroughly and tip them into a mixing bowl.
→ PREPARE THE ONION
Place the sliced onion in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 30 min to 1h. Drain the slices, rinse and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with sumac and ½ tsp of salt. Massage everything together.
→ PREPARE THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS
Finely chop the parsley leaves. Core the tomatoes, deseed them and finely chop the flesh.
→ MAKE THE DRESSING
Juice a lemon and pour the juice into a bowl. Add 1 ½ tsp of salt and the vinegar and mix together with a whisk. Gradually whisk in the olive oil.
→ FINISH UP
Add the onions, tomatoes and parsley to the mixing bowl. Mix delicately with a spoon. Pour the dressing and stir. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until cold enough to serve. Stir again, sprinkle chili flakes on the Turkish white bean salad, scatter the olives over it, and place quartered hard-boil eggs on top and serve!
CANNED BEANS & VARIATIONS
To save (a lot of) time you can skip the whole first step and use canned white beans instead of cooking dried beans from scratch. Drain three 15.5 oz cans of beans in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Let the beans drain again and tip them into a large mixing bowl. Proceed with the rest of the recipe. Not everyone has the time to cook beans for 2h+, but that should never stop you from eating a delicious Turkish white bean salad!
You can spruce things up by adding quartered artichoke hearts, flaked canned salmon or tuna, chunks of feta, or chopped avocados. However, maybe don’t serve it to a Turkish person while calling it a Turkish white bean salad.
Looking for other Turkish side dishes? Here are some of my favorite recipes:Print
This refreshing Turkish white bean salad has crunchy onions and tomatoes, tender white beans, hard-boiled eggs and black olives. There is also just enough sourness from the lemon vinaigrette and sumac to lift everything up!
For the salad:
- 380g dried white beans (Great Northern, Navy, …) (2 cups)
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion
- 2 tsp fine sea salt, divided
- 1 ½ tsp sumac (or replace with 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest + ⅓ tsp ground black pepper)
- 10 parsley sprigs
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes
- 1 medium-sized lemon
- 1 ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
- 55ml olive oil (¼ cup)
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- big pinch of pul biber (or replace with any other chili flakes)
- handful of black olives, stoned (optional)
- Soak and cook the beans. Place the white beans in a large bowl and cover completely with cold water. Allow to soak for about 12h or overnight. Drain in a colander and rinse the white beans under cold running water. Add the beans to a cooking pot and cover with 3.5L (15 cups) of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. My in-laws say that you should skim the white foam that appears off the top to make the beans more digestible. I don’t know if it actually works but do it if you feel so inclined. Once the water is boiling, cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to low. Cook at a simmer until the beans are really tender, about 2h20. If they are not ready, continue cooking and check every 15 min or so. Top with more water during cooking if it gets too dry (the beans need to be covered with water at all times). Drain the beans thoroughly in a colander and tip them into a large mixing bowl.
- Prepare the onion. Peel and finely slice the onion. Place the sliced onion in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let stand for 30 min to 1h. This helps make raw onions less pungent. Drain the sliced onion, rinse under cold running water and dry thoroughly between layers of paper towels. Place the sliced onion in a dry bowl, sprinkle the sumac and ½ tsp of fine salt over it. Massage everything together with one hand for 1 min. Scatter the sliced onion over the beans.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients. Pick the leaves from the parsley sprigs and discard the sprigs. Finely chop the leaves and sprinkle them over the onions (set aside 1 tbsp for later to garnish the salad). Core the tomatoes and slice them in half from top to bottom. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Finely chop the tomatoes and tip into the mixing bowl. Delicately stir the beans, onions, parsley and tomatoes together.
- Make the dressing. Slice the lemon in half, juice it and pour the juice into a medium bowl. Add 1 ½ tsp of salt and the vinegar and mix together with a whisk. Gradually whisk in the olive oil. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir until well combined. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the Turkish white bean salad is cold enough to serve, at least 1h.
- Make hard-boiled eggs. Fill a small saucepan half-full of water (there should be enough water to completely cover the eggs) and bring the water to a low boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium so that the water is at a high simmer and very carefully lower the eggs, one at a time, into the water using a tablespoon. Cook the eggs for 10 min. Remove the eggs from the pan using a slotted spoon and tilt them into a bowl filled with cold water. Leave them until they are completely cool. Tap each egg lightly a few times with a spoon until the shell cracks and peel them. Rinse them under running water to remove any bits of shell if necessary. Quarter the eggs and place them into an airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Serve once the Turkish white bean salad is cold. Most of the dressing will now be at the bottom of the mixing bowl so stir the salad one last time. Put the salad into a serving bowl or onto a serving platter (or leave it in the mixing bowl). Sprinkle the pul biber (or chili flakes) and reserved chopped parsley over the salad. Scatter the olives, if using, over the salad. Place the quartered eggs on top of the salad and serve!
The longer the Turkish white bean salad stays in the fridge, the better it gets. I would then recommend to leave it for a couple of hours. You can also make it in advance and prepare it the day before you want to serve it. If you do, take it out of the fridge 15 min before serving so it’s not icy cold or you won’t taste much.
You can keep Turkish white bean salad stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 381
Keywords: cold side dishes for bbq, vegetarian picnic ideas, traditional mediterranean recipes