Iftar Bean Salad

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Jeff & Linda's Kitchen of Diversity

Middle Eastern Bean Salad


With its fresh tomato, garlic, parsley, and sautéed onion slices this simple bean salad is one of our favorites.  To get the most out of this recipe, be sure to track down small beans or field peas as these have a higher surface area to volume ratio, and thus are able to be coated in more dressing as compared to larger pulses such as pintos or garbanzos.  Although we’ve never tried it, we suspect that this recipe would work wonderfully using brown lentils.  Serves 4.


1 cup dried small beans or cowpeas cooked until tender and drained

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

¼ cup chopped parsley

1 medium yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced


Sauté onion slices in a tablespoon of olive oil until transparent


½ cup olive oil

1/3 cup of lemon juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


Combine ingredients in a quart jar, cap, and shake vigorously to combine.


Mix all prepared ingredients with the dressing.  Let sit for an hour to allow the flavors to meld and serve at room temperature.


You'll want to use a sweet onion like Alisa Craig, Giant of Italy Flatleaf Parsley, and a pungent but nutty Middle Eastern garlic like Himalayan Red.  Any home grown, ripened on the vine tomato will work well.  This recipe is a fine excuse to grow some tiny cowpeas such as Ozark Razorback or Rice Pea.  You could also use any other small pulse such as the Blue Speckled Tepary, Garnet Rice Bean, or White Rice Bush Bean.  Each ofo these beans will give the salad a different appearance and taste -- all of them good.  We used Garnet Rice Beans to make the salad illustrated above.