Giant Bean and Green Olive Salad

I first made this with a few leftover, homemade cracked green olives from the batch my friend Yiannis Tsivourakis had sent me from Hania, Crete. They were cured in a wonderful lemony brine, part of which I used in the beans’ dressing.

When I made the salad again I wanted to imitate this brine, but also somehow incorporate into the beans the flavor of the traditional lemon-coriander green olives from Cyprus, which I love. I was in luck, as I found the perfect rendition of these exquisite olives described in Dimitra’s blog.  She write that she is “a Greek Cypriot girl born and raised in London,’ and in her blog posts lots of traditional Cypriot dishes, but also foods from all over the world, things she cooks at home for her family. 

I suggest you dress and make lots of Dimitra’s wonderful green olives –not just the ones you need for the bean salad. I am sure you will enjoy nibbling on them with some good, crusty bread, anytime of the day… 



Serves 4-6 as part of a meze spread



3 cups cooked giant beans (see NOTE)


1 1/2 cups not pitted green olives —SEE HERE how to imitate the cracked, Greek ones


4 large scallions, white plus most of the green, thinly sliced



4 tablespoons fruity olive oil


3 tablespoons lemon juice, or more to taste


1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, or more, to taste


1-2 teaspoons coarsely cracked coriander seeds


1-2 teaspoons white wine (optional) 


Salt to taste (remember that the olives may be quite salty)


Aleppo, or red pepper flakes, to taste


A handful chopped dill


A handful torn mint leaves



In a large bowl toss the beans with the olives and the scallion.


In a jar add the olive oil, lemon, mustard, 1 teaspoon white wine or water, salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Close the jar with the lid and shake well to mix. If you make the Cypriot green olives, use some of their dressing for the beans.


Pour the dressing over the beans, add the dill and mint, toss and taste to correct the seasoning, before serving. 



I like to have cooked beans in my freezer, so that I can whip up any dish I like in no time.

1 pound (2 cups) dried beans makes about 5-6 cups of cooked beans.

Soak 1 pound of beans in water overnight. makes about 5-6 cups of cooked beans. in water overnight. Drain, place in a pot and cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil, skim, reduce the heat, sprinkle with one tablespoon of oregano, and simmer for 40 min or more, until the beans start to be tender. Drain, and keep the liquid, if you like, to use it for making risotto or pasta. 

Let the beans cool completely and store in Ziploc bags in the freezer. 






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