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