Fall in love with Piyaz, a classic Turkish White Bean Salad featuring aromatic onions, bright tomatoes, and nutritious Great Northern Beans. Make it today and enjoy it even more tomorrow.
Turkish cuisine is full of amazing fresh flavours. I love a hearty bowl of Spicy Turkish Bulgur Red Lentil Soup (Ezo Gelin Corba) and speaking of tasty legumes…check out this comforting vegan Mejadra, which is quite popular throughout the Middle East.
Disclosure: This post is made possible by Alberta Pulse Growers. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Turkish White Bean Salad
Turkish White Bean Salad, or Fasulye Piyaz, will become your next favourite summer salad. I first tried it from a Turkish food stall at a local farmer’s market and have been in love with it ever since. Eventually, I became determined to replicate the flavours at home.
This white bean salad recipe is the result of that determination! The visible ingredients were easy to figure out. However, the vinaigrette and onions were a little more challenging. I used the same technique with the onions as I do when I soften cabbage for sauerkraut.
The dressing is a simple lemon vinaigrette without vinegar or mustard. It’s tart and tangy flavour is from the lemon juice and sumac.
What is Piyaz Salad?
Piyaz is a popular salad or mezze in Turkish cuisine. There are several versions of Piyaz as each household has its own treasured version. The name, Piyaz, is derived from an Iranian word meaning ‘onion’. The same word eventually became popular to describe a salad made with onion.
At the bare minimum Piyaz typically contains onions, parsley, and sumac. Beans and tomatoes are the most popular additions, while artichokes, peas, broad beans, and potato have also been used. You can also find versions of the salad with olives and hard-boiled eggs.
I really hope you love this salad as much as I do. It’s delicious alongside grilled meats, baked fish, and it even makes a satisfying lunch (top with a boiled egg for extra protein). Going to a barbecue or potluck? White Bean Salad is the perfect salad to bring because it can sit out for hours, unlike mayonnaise-based salads.
Ingredients for Turkish White Bean Salad
This is an easy meal prep salad with very few simple ingredients. Be sure to buy fresh ingredients at the height of their flavour.
- Great Northern Beans
- Red Onion
- Olive Oil
- Aleppo Pepper
Buy the best ripe red tomatoes you can find. If they have that sharp earthy tomato smell you know they’ll be good. Try to avoid over ripe mealy tomatoes. To quickly core and deseed tomatoes, start at the non stem end and use the tip of a sharp knife to slice downward through the flesh only. Or quarter cherry tomatoes and squeeze out the seeds.
Make 6 slices, then use the knife to separate the wedges downward but not all the way through (they should still be attached at the stem end. Remove the wedges from the intact core and dice the tomatoes as desired.
Curly parsley or flat Italian parsley will work in this recipe, though I prefer the curly variety. Only use fresh herbs for the best salad flavour.
Since this is a salad, you will want to use the best olive oil you have for the vinaigrette. This is a good time to bring out the fancy stuff and leave the cooking oil in the pantry.
Aleppo Pepper is a very mild dried ground pepper from a burgundy chili also known as the Halaby pepper.
I used Great Northern Beans in this recipe. However, you can also use cooked Navy Beans, Cannellini Beans, or even White Kidney Beans. Use dry beans or buy canned beans. In general, one cup of dried beans will equal one 19 oz (540 ml or approx. 2 cups) canned beans, after cooking.
For this recipe I forgot to soak my beans overnight. It happens. To quickly cook dried beans without soaking: measure one cup of beans and 3 cups of water into a saucepan. Bring the beans to a boil then remove them from the heat. After an hour of soaking, replace the water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 40-45 minutes, or until the beans are tender. Drain and rinse the beans then allow them to cool to room temperature before using in the salad.
What is Sumac?
Sumac is a seasoning of ground sumac berries. It has a bright tart, almost lemon or citrus flavour. This tart and tangy ingredient is popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. It’s commonly found in spice mixes, marinades, rubs, and dressings.
If you have ever been to a Turkish or Lebanese restaurant, you’ll likely have noticed a shaker full of sumac beside the salt and pepper shakers. It’s a popular condiment which is tasty on everything from rice dishes, to salads, and roast meats.
How to Make White Bean Salad
Softening the Onions
Red onions can be quite strong and sometimes even bitter in flavour. However, they are an important component in this Piyaz salad recipe. Rubbing the onions with salt, lemon juice, and a bit of sumac softens them and makes them much more palatable.
Place the sliced onion in a medium bowl and add 1 teaspoon of sumac, 1/2 teaspoon salt and half of the lemon juice. Rub and work the sumac and the salt into the onion slices with your hands until the onions become soft.
The Sumac Vinaigrette
My favourite way to make a vinaigrette is to mix it up in a small jar. Place all the ingredients the jar, screw the lid on tight and shake it. It’s so much simpler (and cleaner) than using a bowl and whisk. Plus, if you have any leftovers, you can store the jar in the fridge.
Putting It All Together
Add the tomatoes, fresh parsley, finely chopped lemon zest, and Great Northern Beans to the bowl of onions. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix it together. Serve the white bean salad with a sprinkle of extra sumac, if desired.
Make Ahead Salad and Leftovers
White Bean Salad is a summer salad that you can safely leave out at a backyard barbecue or potluck for a few hours. If fact, it will just get better as the day goes on…if it hasn’t disappeared!
Additionally, Piyaz is also great ‘make ahead’ salad because a little overnight fridge time will allow those flavours to permeate the beans, tomatoes, and onions. It tastes even better the next day. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to three days.
If you make this Turkish White Bean Salad (Fasulye Piyaz) recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 1 19 oz (540 ml) can Great Northern Beans; drained and rinsed
- 1 medium red onion; thinly sliced
- 3 small tomatoes; de-seeded and chopped
- 1 cup fresh curly parsley; chopped
- 1 lemon; zested and juiced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt; divided
- 2 teaspoons Sumac; divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (optional)
- Place the sliced onion in a medium bowl and add 1 teaspoon of sumac, 1/2 teaspoon salt and half of the lemon juice. Rub and work the sumac and the salt into the onion slices with your hands well (this will soften the onions and help spices infuse in well).
- Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, lemon zest, and Great Northern Beans to the bowl.
- Place the olive oil, Aleppo pepper (if using) in a small jar along with the remaining sumac, lemon juice and salt. Shake well then pour over the Piyaz salad.
- Mix the white bean salad together and serve topped with extra sumac, if desired.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 763Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 627mgCarbohydrates: 123gFiber: 41gSugar: 2gProtein: 48g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.