Recipe Corner: Summer Pilaki Salad with Fresh Herbs

By Christine Datian Vartanian


3 cups large white navy beans

1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced red or white onion

1/2 cup sliced or diced green or red bell pepper

2 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper

1/2 teaspoon each paprika and tarragon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil (to taste)

Juice of one large lemon and lemon zest

Fresh lemon wedges

Fresh chopped parsley, green onions, basil and mint

Kalamata, green, or black olives

Roasted red peppers, sliced or chopped



Cover beans with cold water and cook on medium heat for 30-35 minutes until beans are fully cooked.  Drain, cool, and set aside.

Place the beans in a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and toss with olive oil and lemon juice.  Adjust the seasonings, add the zest, and toss again.

Arrange salad on a large platter and garnish with lemon wedges, chopped parsley, green onions, basil and mint, assorted olives, roasted peppers, and Armenian bread or crackers.

Drizzle with olive oil, if desired.

Serves 6-8.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee Newspaper, Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, and at