Recipe Corner: Armenian Pilaki Salad with Fresh Herbs


By Christine Vartanian Datian


3-4 cups large white navy beans, cooked and drained

1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup diced celery (and tops)

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1 cup diced carrots

1 cup diced red onion

1 cup diced zucchini

1/2 cup sliced green or red bell pepper

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon light or Kosher salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Juice of 2 large lemons or red wine or balsamic vinegar to taste

Fresh lemon wedges as garnish

Fresh chopped parsley, basil, oregano, and mint as garnish

Chopped green and Kalamata olives as garnish

3-4 boiled eggs, chopped, as garnish


Wash the beans, cover with cold water, and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes or until beans are tender.

Drain beans and place in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, olive oil, celery, carrots, red onion, zucchini, bell pepper, garlic, salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, dill, black pepper, and lemon juice or vinegar to taste, toss a few times, and adjust seasonings.

Cover and chill salad. Arrange salad in a serving bowl or on a large platter garnished with lemon wedges, parsley, basil, oregano, mint, green and black olives, and chopped boiled eggs; serve with Armenian bread, string cheese, and lavash. Drizzle salad with a little olive oil, if desired.

Serves 6-8.

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

For Christine’s recipes that have been published in Sunset and Cooking Light Magazines, go to: <


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