Turkish green bean salad

My father used to make this All. The. Time. There always seemed to be a dish full of it sitting in the kitchen ready to be snacked upon. When I first made it as an adult I was instantly transported back to my parents kitchen, and now I make it often. I’ve given quantities of ingredients below per the wonderful ‘A Turkish Cookbook’ by Arto Der Haroutunian, but as with most of my father’s cooking he just flung stuff in, so flexibility is definitely allowed!


700g french beans

Olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons

6 tomatoes, chopped

3 crushed garlic cloves

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp allspice

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat a good slug of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion & fry for 10 minutes or so until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the tomatoes and fry for a further couple of minutes until soft.
  3. Add in the beans, garlic, seasoning, sugar & allspice and mix.
  4. Pour in enough water to cover the vegetables, mix, bring to the boil, then simmer gently for up to an hour.
  5. When the beans are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated, remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  6. Stir in the lemon juice, and serve.

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