Bean salad with tarator dressing

Tarator is a fantastic Turkish garlicky nut sauce based on walnuts, almonds, pinenuts or hazelnuts. It is very versatile, excellent with grilled fish and chicken or as a salad dressing. I find the flavour of the garlic and walnuts goes very well with lightly steamed broad beans and French beans.


150g walnuts, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes

30g stale white bread, crusts removed and soaked in water

2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste

2-3 tbsp sherry vinegar

pinch ground allspice

¼ lemon, juiced

5 tbsp water

4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

500g whole broad beans, podded

400g French beans, topped and tailed

2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped

10 sorrel leaves, torn


Drain the walnuts and squeeze the water from the bread. Place them in a food processor and blend well to a fine grain. Put the mixture in a bowl and combine with the garlic, vinegar, allspice, lemon juice, water and olive oil, stir well and season.

Steam the broad beans and French beans until just tender, then chill in ice water until cool. Place the beans in a bowl, spoon over half the nut dressing and mix well. Add more if you prefer, then mix through the parsley and sorrel and season to taste. Use the leftover dressing for other dishes such as chicken or fish.


Romesco, a Spanish sauce made with roasted red capsicum, almonds, pine nuts or hazelnuts, is another nut dressing that goes well with this salad.